PHILADELPHIA - The jury was selected Thursday in the trial of an Amtrak engineer charged in a deadly high-speed derailment that occurred back in 2015 in Philadelphia.
Eight people died and nearly 200 were hurt when a New York-bound train jumped the track as it rounded the ‘Frankford Curve’ at more than twice the 50 mph speed limit in May 2015.
Engineer Brandon Bostian, 38, faces multiple charges, including involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment, in the case.
A jury of eight women and four men will deliberate Bostian's trial.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators concluded Bostian lost his bearings while distracted by radio chatter about a nearby train that had been struck by a rock. They found no evidence he was impaired or was using a cellphone.
"There was an attack on two moving passenger trains right outside of North Philadelphia that day," Bostian's Attorney Brian McMonagle said. "My client's driving and operation of his train that day was perfect until two trains came under attack."
The case against Bostian has seen a series of reversals of prosecutors’ or judges’ decisions on the engineer’s criminally culpability for what happened that night.
Amtrak has taken responsibility for the crash, agreeing to pay $265 million to settle claims filed by victims and their families. Since the accident, the railroad has installed positive train control technology on its Boston-to-Washington tracks that can automatically slow or stop a speeding train.