Southeastern PA

Survivor says Amtrak train going 'way too fast' before crash

PHILADELPHIA - A passenger who survived a deadly Amtrak crash in Philadelphia more than two years ago said she heard a "big bang," then blacked out and woke up in the woods.

Blair Berman was riding in the severely damaged first car of the train. She testified Tuesday at a preliminary hearing for Brandon Bostian, an Amtrak engineer who's facing criminal charges in the derailment that killed eight people and wounded about 200.

Berman said the train speeded up as it approached a curve and she could feel her body weight shifting before the crash. She says the train was "going way too fast."

Federal safety investigators said Bostian accelerated to 106 mph in a 50 mph curve, sending the Washington-to-New York train tumbling from the tracks. They concluded Bostian lost his bearings while distracted by an incident with a nearby train.

The judge in May overruled a district attorney's decision not to bring charges after victim Rachel Jacobs' family filed a private criminal complaint.

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