Truck driver charged in crash involving Tracy Morgan - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Truck driver charged in crash involving Tracy Morgan

Posted: Updated:
One person was killed in the multi-vehicle crash. One person was killed in the multi-vehicle crash.
One driver, Kevin Roper of Jonesboro, Ga., is facing charges stemming from the crash. One driver, Kevin Roper of Jonesboro, Ga., is facing charges stemming from the crash.
Morgan, 45, was transported to a New Jersey hospital where he is listed in critical condition. Morgan, 45, was transported to a New Jersey hospital where he is listed in critical condition.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (WFLA) - Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan remained hospitalized as state and federal officials continued their investigation of a six-vehicle crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that took the life of a Morgan friend and left two others seriously injured, authorities say.

Morgan, 45, was in critical condition and his family arrived to be with him after a tractor-trailer rammed into his chauffeured limousine bus, carrying seven people, his spokesman Lewis Kay said. Morgan was "receiving excellent care," the spokesman said.

Do you tweet? We do! Join us on http://8.wfla.com/1dsYrjS

A truck driver was charged with death by auto in the Saturday crash that killed comedian James McNair, described as a mentor to the former "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" cast member.

Thirty-five-year-old Kevin Roper, of Jonesboro, Georgia, also faces four counts of assault by auto, Middlesex County prosecutors said. His bail was set at $50,000, and he was expected to turn himself in. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Morgan and the group were traveling home from a standup comedy show in Delaware, officials said. About 1 a.m., near Cranbury Township, the tractor-trailer driver apparently failed to slow for traffic ahead and swerved at the last minute to avoid a crash, state police Sgt. 1st Class Greg Williams said.

Instead, the big rig smashed into the back of the Mercedes limo bus, prompting a chain-reaction crash with a second tractor-trailer, an SUV and two cars.

McNair, 62, of Peekskill, New York, who performed as Jimmy Mack, died when the limo overturned on the turnpike, Williams said. Morgan and Jeffrey Millea, 36, of Shelton, Connecticut, were flown from the accident scene to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, where they were in critical condition, hospital spokesman Peter Haigney said.

A fourth passenger, comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr., was also in critical condition, while a fifth passenger, comic Harris Stanton, was treated and released, Haigney said. Two others in the limo were unhurt, including the driver.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was working with state police to look at any issues in the crash related to commercial trucking and limousine safety.

Walmart President Bill Simon said in a statement a Walmart truck was involved and that the company "will take full responsibility" if authorities determine its truck caused the accident.

"We're praying for the family and friends of the passenger who lost his life in the terrible accident" the statement said.

Morgan's limo was owned by Atlantic Transportation Services, which said it had one employee behind the wheel and a second in the front passenger seat.

"Although the investigation is still pending, we concur with the preliminary reports that the accident was caused by another vehicle traveling behind the Atlantic limo bus," the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware-based company said.

Morgan performed comedy standup Friday night at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. His scheduled appearance at the Fillmore Charlotte in North Carolina on Saturday was canceled.

Fuqua had tweeted that he was opening for Morgan on Friday. On his Instagram page, Fuqua included a collage of photos from the Delaware show.

"This is what it looks like from the stage to see a standing ovation from 1500 people," Fuqua wrote at around midnight Friday. "Then we traveled back to NYC in style in a luxury Mercedes Sprinter. Road life is a good life!"

McNair was a close friend and mentor to Morgan, Morgan's ex-wife, Sabina Morgan, told the New York Daily News. "He was one of the first comedians that took Tracy under his wing," she said. "They were very close."

Royale Watkins, a Los Angeles-based comedian who said he had performed in New York clubs with Morgan and McNair, described McNair as having a big personality.

"There may be guys like Tracy who get the fame and notoriety, but you have people like Jimmy Mack who have kind of energized and fueled cats like Tracy and kept them going on the road," Watkins said.

Morgan, a New York City native, joined "SNL" in 1996 and left to star in "The Tracy Morgan Show" in 2003. That show lasted just one season. In 2006, Morgan found a long-running role on NBC's hit show "30 Rock," which was created by "SNL" co-star Tina Fey. He received an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor for "30 Rock" in 2009.

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Governor to meet with leaders in Atlantic Beach Tuesday

    Governor to meet with leaders in Atlantic Beach Tuesday

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:45 AM EDT2014-07-29 10:45:07 GMT
    Governor Nikki Haley will be meeting with Atlantic Beach officials Tuesday morning. In May, she met with local leaders and said Bike Fest should end after this year's violence that coincided with the Memorial Day Bike Fest. During the May meeting, she privately met with several Horry County leaders including Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes and Horry County Chairman Mark Lazarus. She was reportedly shown a five minute compilation of Bike Fest and Memorial Day Weekend clips found on YouTube. "I ...
    Governor Nikki Haley will be meeting with Atlantic Beach officials Tuesday morning. In May, she met with local leaders and said Bike Fest should end after this year's violence that coincided with the Memorial Day Bike Fest. During the May meeting, she privately met with several Horry County leaders including Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes and Horry County Chairman Mark Lazarus. She was reportedly shown a five minute compilation of Bike Fest and Memorial Day Weekend clips found on YouTube. "I ...
  • General Motors award-winning & best-selling pick-up truck recalled 9 times

    General Motors award-winning & best-selling pick-up truck recalled 9 times

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:06 AM EDT2014-07-29 08:06:45 GMT
    The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra have been recalled 6 times in 2014, which is more than any other vehicle sold in the country.Both pick-ups have seen 9 recalls issued since they went on sale last year. Those recalls did not affect all of the vehicles sold. Some were for fewer than 500 trucks for issues like loose floor mats.GM says the award-winning Silverado is still its best-selling vehicle in America and the Sierra is close behind.
    The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra have been recalled 6 times in 2014, which is more than any other vehicle sold in the country.Both pick-ups have seen 9 recalls issued since they went on sale last year. Those recalls did not affect all of the vehicles sold. Some were for fewer than 500 trucks for issues like loose floor mats.GM says the award-winning Silverado is still its best-selling vehicle in America and the Sierra is close behind.
  • Nissan recalling addition 226,000 vehicles because of defective airbags

    Nissan recalling addition 226,000 vehicles because of defective airbags

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:56 AM EDT2014-07-29 07:56:40 GMT
    Nissan is recalling more than 226,000 additional vehicles over a defective air bag that has affected much of the global auto industry. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Saturday that Nissan North America Inc. is recalling certain lines of its Infiniti, Maxima, Pathfinder and Sentra cars for the model years 2002 to 2004. Faulty air bags have already been blamed for the recall of millions of cars around the world in recent years, including those made by BMW, Chrysler, Ford...
    Nissan is recalling more than 226,000 additional vehicles over a defective air bag that has affected much of the global auto industry. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Saturday that Nissan North America Inc. is recalling certain lines of its Infiniti, Maxima, Pathfinder and Sentra cars for the model years 2002 to 2004. Faulty air bags have already been blamed for the recall of millions of cars around the world in recent years, including those made by BMW, Chrysler, Ford...
Powered by WorldNow

210 W. Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Telephone: 843.216.4875
Fax: 843.881.3410
Email: news@wcbd.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.