Jury Deliberations in Fatal Amtrak Derailment to Begin Again

Posted on March 4, 2022 at 2:07 p.m. and updated on March 4, 2022 at 2:07 p.m.

By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Proceedings in the trial of an Amtrak engineer accused of causing a fatal 2015 derailment in Philadelphia will resume Friday afternoon after a juror suffered a death in the family.

The jury had begun weighing the criminal charges against engineer Brandon Bostian on Friday morning when the judge announced around noon that an alternate would be called. The jury must now begin its deliberations from the beginning to include the new juror.

FILE- In this Wednesday, May 13, 2015, file photo, rescue workers work at the scene of a derailment in Philadelphia of a New York-bound Amtrak train. A Philadelphia jury is scheduled to weigh criminal charges Friday, March 4, 2022 against Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian for the fatal derailment. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Bostian, 38, is charged with causing a disaster, manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

Eight people died and more than 200 people were injured when the train rounded a curve at more than twice the speed limit and derailed in North Philadelphia. Amtrak has agreed to pay $265 million in civil settlements to the victims and their families.

The jury must decide whether Bostian intentionally sped, knowing the risks — the required threshold for criminal negligence. Federal safety investigators believe he lost what they call “situational awareness” on the track, believing he was over the curve and on the straight when he accelerated.

Common Pleas Judge Barbara McDermott said the juror whose sister died Thursday night came to court on Friday and began deliberations before asking to be relieved.

The state attorney general’s office is pursuing the case because city prosecutors declined to pursue a criminal case. Some of the families of the victims had filed a complaint.

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