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MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A truck driver from Georgia has pleaded not guilty to three counts of negligent homicide stemming from a fiery crash in the western North Dakota oil patch that killed three men.

Fifty-year-old Vernon Wright, of Hiram, Ga., could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Authorities allege that Wright was driving a tanker trailer filled with crude oil and was at fault for a crash on U.S. Highway 2 three miles east of Stanley last June. The tanker trailer exploded and five other vehicles involved in the accident burned for about five hours at the crash site. Two men from Minot and one from Rhame were killed.

A judge on Tuesday did not immediately set a trial date for Wright.

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