Negligent homicide charge filed in McKenzie County fatal crash

WATFORD CITY, N.D. – Prosecutors in McKenzie County have filed a negligent homicide charge against a Watford City man for his role in a fatal crash last month near Mandaree.

According to a criminal affidavit, investigators say that around 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 17, 19-year-old Luis Saldana lost control of his truck on Bear Den Road and collided with another truck.

The man in the other truck, 59-year-old Robert Barke of Dutton, Mont., died at the scene from his injuries.

Investigators later determined that Saldana had been driving 45 miles per hour at the time of the crash, 20 miles per hour over the posted limit. They say Saldana admitted to losing control of his vehicle on a similar icy road earlier in the day.

A district judge summoned Saldana to court March 7. The C-felony charge carries with it a maximum sentence of five years in prison.