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Montana man pleads not guilty in South Fork car crash


ELKO – A Montana man alleged to have been behind the wheel of a vehicle that crashed and injured several people more than two years ago pleaded not guilty in district court Monday.

Richard Scott Norman Harris, 23, was arraigned Dec. 18 in Elko District Court by Judge Nancy Porter on five counts of reckless driving causing substantial bodily harm, a Category B felony.

Represented by attorney Diana Hillewaert, Harris entered his not guilty plea before Porter.

According to NRS 484B.653, a person convicted on one or more of the charges could receive up to six months in jail for each count, a fine between $250 to $2,000 for each count and the person’s driver’s license could be suspended for six months to two years.

The charges stemmed from an incident May 17, 2015, when Harris and seven passengers in a 2007 Dodge Challenger were involved in an accident at the intersection of South Fork and Jiggs Highway.

Reports from the Nevada Highway Patrol stated Harris allegedly swerved while traveling east on South Fork Road through the intersection and hit an embankment, causing it to go airborne and ejecting two passengers, according to Elko Daily Free Press files.

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The NHP said Harris first claimed he swerved to avoid a deer, but authorities later said they determined the claim was false.

At the time of the arrest, NHP Lt. Tamrah Jackson explained that the agency conducted a lengthy investigation that was submitted to the Elko County District Attorney’s office because the incident “involve[d] significant injuries.”

Harris turned himself in to local authorities in June. He was released on $500,000 bail.

A date for jury trial was set for May 8.


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