This past weekend, 45-year old comedy and acting star Tracy Morgan was critically injured when the limousine bus that he was riding in was struck from behind by a tractor trailer. The incident took at place at 1:00 in the morning, just a few hours after Morgan had completed performing his comedy routine in the state of Delaware. Also riding in the bus with Morgan were comedians Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton, both of whom were injured, comedy writer James McNair, who was killed in the accident, and Morgan’s assistant Jeffrey Millea. The accident occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike and involved a total of six vehicles.
Morgan’s injuries required that he be flown from the scene of he accident to the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, New Jersey. There he was treated for a variety of injuries, including broken ribs, a broken leg, a broken femur and a broken nose. Some of his injuries required surgery.
Reports provided by the new Jersey State Police have indicated that the tractor trailer, a Walmart truck was driven by 350year old Kevin Roper. Roper has been charged with four counts of assault by auto and one count of death y auto. He has pled not guilty to these charges. New Jersey State Police Sgt. First Class Gregory Williams said, “Driver failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead. He observed at the last minute – just prior to impact – the limo bus carrying Morgan and his party.” There are indications that the truck driver had been operating his vehicle without having slept for an extended period of time.
Walmart president and CEO Bill Simon released a statement following the incident, saying, “This is a tragedy and we are profoundly sorry that one of our trucks was involved. We are working quickly to understand what happened and are cooperating fully with law enforcement to aid their investigation. The facts are continuing to unfold. If it’s determined that our truck caused the accident, Walmart will take full responsibility.”
He went on to say, “Safety is our absolute highest priority, but that is no comfort whatsoever to the families and friends who are suffering today. We offer them our deepest condolences. We can’t change what happened, but we will do what’s right for the family of the victim and the survivors in the days and weeks ahead.”