By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For the first time, criminal charges have been filed against the engineer in 2015’s fatal Amtrak crash in Philadelphia.

Eight passengers were killed, including three from Maryland, and more than 200 others were injured.

Now three years later, for survivors and the families of those killed, “they’re very pleased that the court is going to move forward, and accept these criminal charges to hold the engineer accountable,” says Keith Franz, a Towson attorney representing eight of those injured.

Originally, a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to charge Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian, but a new judge is reversing that decision, and charging Bostian with eight counts of involuntary manslaughter and 246 counts of reckless endangerment.

Maryland law requires a prosecutor to bring charges, but Franz says it’s different in Philadelphia.

“The law in Pennsylvania is somewhat unique,” he said. “It allows victims to take their case into court directly, to seek charges directly from a judge.”

Bostian will be formally arraigned on the charges February 21, with a trial likely late in 2018.

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