MORRISTOWN - Authorities say a driver charged in a highway crash that killed three people last summer denied being under the influence of alcohol and narcotics.

Morris County prosecutors say Bhavuk Uppal told police he was getting a cigarette and took his eyes off the road.

The 24-year-old Mountain Lakes man was indicted in May on three counts of aggravated manslaughter and other charges. He pleaded not guilty last week.

Authorities say Uppal was speeding when he slammed into a car in front of him in the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 in Rockaway Township on July 11, killing the three people and injuring two others in a chain reaction crash.

The three people who died were in the car. They were a young couple from Louisville, Kentucky, and their infant daughter.