Prosecution against engineer Brandon Bostian, who derailed an Amtrak train two years ago in Philadelphia, ended in stunning fashion Tuesday when a judge ruled there was not enough evidence to warrant a criminal trial.
Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Thomas Gehret dismissed all counts against Bostian after a four-hour hearing that centered on what responsibility the engineer should bear for eight deaths and more than 100 injuries caused by the May 12, 2015, accident.
“Based on that evidence,” Gehret said, “I think it’s more likely than not this was an accident and not criminal.”
Bostian had been charged with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of causing or risking a catastrophe, and 238 counts of reckless endangerment.
He remained stoic through the hearing even after learning he would not face trial and did not comment afterward. His lawyer, Brian J. McMonagle, argued — fiercely at times — that Bostian had committed a mistake, not a crime.