Trucker charged with homicide

STANLEY The trucker involved in the June 21 crash on U.S. Highway 2 about three miles east of Stanley was charged Jan. 2 with three counts of negligent homicide, each a Class C felony, for the deaths of three men involved in the six-vehicle crash that also resulted in three additional injuries.

Vernon Wright, Hiram, Ga., was driving an eastbound 2004 Peterbilt semi-truck pulling a 2012 Polar Tanker trailer filled with crude oil in the dense fog that morning. He was attempting to make a northbound turn onto 79th Avenue Northwest, a gravel road, when the first additional vehicle, a 2013 Ford F-150, was clipped on the driver’s side and sent into the ditch, landing on the driver’s side. That happened at 6:40 a.m.

According to an affidavit submitted to the Mountrail County State’s Attorney’s office by Corey Bristol, the chief deputy in that county’s sheriff’s department, the cause of the negligent homicide charges is that the Wright “was blocking the entire width of the westbound lane” when the crash occurred.

Patrick Wilkie, Tyler Fischer and David Maskey were the men who died in the crash.

Wright was released by posting a corporate surety bond of $10,000 and may return to his home state of Georgia before needing to appear in court if given permission by his bonding company.

Wright is scheduled to make his first court appearance on March 6, according to his bail bond discharge form.