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Forum News Service, Published January 20 2014

Oil truck driver involved in western ND crash charged with negligent homicide

STANLEY, N.D. – The driver of a semi oil tanker involved in a fiery crash June 21 near Stanley that killed three people now faces three counts of negligent homicide.

Vernon Neil Wright, 49, Atlanta, was driving on U.S. Highway 2 about three miles east of Stanley when he was involved in a five-vehicle crash that caused the truck he was driving to explode.

David Maskey, 41, Minot, Patrick Wilkie, 26, Wahpeton, and Tyler Fischer, 23, Minot, formerly of Bowman, died in the accident. Three other people were injured.

Prosecutors in Mountrail County filed Class C felony charges against Wright earlier this month and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Mountrail County Sheriff Ken Halvorson went to Atlanta to transport Wright to North Dakota and arrested him Jan. 9, according to a news release from Halvorson.

After making an initial court appearance, Wright posted a $10,000 bond and was released from the Mountrail County Jail. His next court appearance is March 6 in North Central Judicial District Court in Stanley.

Wright’s attorney, David Dusek of Grand Forks, declined to comment.