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Prineville man pleads not guilty to manslaughter, DUII in fatal crash


(Updating with not-guilty plea, trial date set)

A 19-year-old Prineville man pleaded not guilty Friday to second-degree manslaughter, DUII and criminally negligent homicide charges in a March 2016 head-on drugged-driving crash on Highway 126 west of Redmond that claimed the life of a Madras man.

A Dec. 5 trial date was set for Justice Knight Collins, who was arrested by Oregon State Police in early March and released from the Deschutes County Jail about a month later. Jail records show Collins, initially held on $150,000 bail, was released after posting 10 percent of his reduced $20,000 bail, under conditions set by a judge.

The trial is scheduled for five days, with a trial readiness hearing set for Nov.30, online court records showed.

A Deschutes County grand jury handed down an indictment Feb. 22, accusing Collins of driving “while under the influence of a controlled substance.”

OSP said the crash occurred around 6:30 p.m. on March 31, 2016 at Highway 126 and Northwest 67 th Street, east of the intersection with the Cline Falls Highway and the bridge over the Deschutes River.

Lt. Bill Fugate said a 2002 Ford Explorer driven by Collins was heading east on the highway when it crossed the center line and collided with a 2003 Chrysler van driven by Jason Franklin, 41, of Madras.

Franklin died at the crash scene. Collins was taken to St. Charles Bend for treatment of his injuries.

Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson said one car was able to avoid the oncoming SUV, but the minivan behind it could not. The crash investigation closed the highway for about four hours.

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