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Driver charged with manslaughter after Acadia crash that killed three appears in court

Praneeth Manubolu of New Jersey will remain in custody until a Sept. 10 hearing.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — The New Jersey man charged with manslaughter following a crash that killed three people Saturday in Acadia National Park will remain in jail until a Sept. 10 hearing.

Praneeth Manubolu, 28, appeared before Magistrate Judge John C. Nivison Tuesday afternoon in federal court in Bangor. He faces three counts of manslaughter.

Court documents allege Manubolu had been drinking before getting behind the wheel of the car with three other people.

The three passengers who died were Lenny Fuchs, 36, Laura Leong, 30 and Zeeshan Mohammed, 27, all of New York City. Manubolu suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The National Park Service said the vehicle rolled over on the one-way section of the Park Loop Road around  2:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31. 

When emergency responders arrived, three of the four occupants of the car were found dead at the scene. The driver was taken to Mount Desert Island Hospital and was arrested after being released from the hospital and taken to Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth.

"I don't know if there's ever been such a horrible accident in the park, and certainly not in my twenty years here," said Acadia National Park management assistant John Kelly.

RELATED: 3 dead, 1 injured after rollover crash in Acadia National Park

The Bar Harbor Police Department, Bar Harbor Fire Department, and Hancock County Sheriff Department were on scene.

The scene was reconstructed, and the one-way section of the Park Loop Road was closed until further notice.

The section of the Park Loop Road where the accident occurred has a speed limit of 25 mph. 

"The park loop road was designed in the 20s and 30s for pleasure driving. Narrow twisty roads that are not meant for speed, and are really meant to enjoy very low speeds," Kelly said.

The incident is under investigation by the National Park Service, the Bar Harbor Police, and the Hancock County Sheriff's office.

On Tuesday, Manubolu's attorney, James Nixon, waived reading of the affidavit. No indictment has yet been filed.

A probable cause and detention hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sept. 10.

Manubolu faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, four years probation and a $50,000 fine for each of the three counts.