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Amtrak Crash Victims' Attorney Favors Grand Jury Probe

By Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Attorney Tom Kline says he would strongly favor convening a grand jury to look for answers and possibly file criminal charges in the deadly May 12 Amtrak crash at Frankford Junction curve that killed 8 and injured more than 200.

"It would be a welcome idea to have a grand jury empaneled to hear the evidence," Kline stated in response to a question from CBS 3's Walt Hunter.

Kline, and attorney Robert Mongeluzzi represent 29 victims and their families - many still seeking answers about why the train - with engineer Brandon Bostian at the controls was, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, going too fast.

"Many of our clients," Mongeluzzi told reporters, "have expressed concerns regarding the conduct of Mr. Bostian who was going 106 miles an hour in a 50 mile an hour zone."

"We'd absolutely like to speak to the engineer," stated Philadelphia Police Captain Mark Burgmann, "he has yet to speak to us, and we would like to speak to him because we have a lot of questions we would like to ask him."

Captain Burgmann says his investigators at East Detective Division are moving forward with their probe, and once they receive preliminary findings from the NTSB, they'll forward their evidence to the District Attorney who will decide whether to file charges-with the option of using a grand jury to assist him.

"This is still a very active investigation," Captain Burgmann explained, "we haven't let go of it at all, we're still investigating it."

Citing the ongoing investigation, a spokesman for District Attorney Seth Williams declined comment on whether a Grand Jury will be used to conduct a crash inquiry. Meanwhile, for victims and their families, word from Congress that approval of measures raising the liability damage cap from 200 to 295 million dollars is expected soon.

"We are pleased that this is one fight that was won for the victims," Kline stated.

An Amtrak spokesperson declined comment on the Congressional action.

An employee at the law office for Bostian's attorney, responding to a CBS 3 request for comment, stated the lawyer was "out of the country" and not available. Bostian has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Preliminary findings from the NTSB investigation are expected to be released in the next few weeks.

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