A case out of Pennsylvania bookends with the case of R v Harding (2018) about which I wrote the other day.

Image from here

On 12 May 2015 Brandon Bostian was the engineer on a train from Washington to New York.  The train entered a bend in the line at 106 mph (170 kph).  This was more than double the speed limit.  The train derailed, injuring 150 passengers and killing eight.  A government investigation found that Bostian was not affected by alcohol or drugs and was not using a cellphone.  It concluded that he had lost his bearings while distracted by operational radio communications.

The family of one of the deceased brought a private prosecution against Bostian for (inter alia) involuntary manslaughter.  Pennsylvania law states that

A person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter when as a direct result of … the doing of a lawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, he causes the death of another person.

The charges were dismissed by the Philadelphia Municipal Court.  The Attorney-General appealed to the Court of Common Pleas.  On 6 February 2018 Lewis J reversed the Municipal Court’s decision, finding that there was sufficient evidence for Bostian to be presented for trial.  It appears a trial date has not yet been set.

Commonwealth v Bostian (2018), Philadelphia Inquirer, 6 February 2018 and Register Citizen (Torrington, CT), 6  February 2018.