Report: trucker in Tracy Morgan crash was sleep deprived
A truck driver accused of triggering a highway crash that seriously injured Tracy Morgan and killed a man had not slept for at least 24 hours.
Wal-Mart driver Kevin Roper is expected to appear in court Wednesday.
It was unclear if Roper, of Jonesboro, Georgia, had retained an attorney. He remained free after posting $50,000 bond.
Authorities said Roper apparently failed to slow for traffic ahead early Saturday in Cranbury Township and then swerved to avoid a crash. Instead, they said, his big rig smashed into the back of Morgan’s chauffeured limo bus, killing comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair and injuring Morgan and three other people.
The accident occurred in a chronically congested area of the New Jersey Turnpike where a five-year widening project is expected to finish this year. A turnpike authority spokesman said two of three northbound lanes had been closed about a mile ahead of the accident for road work, which likely slowed traffic.
Morgan, a former Saturday Night Live cast member, was in critical but stable condition as of Monday. His spokesman, Lewis Kay says he faces a tough recovery. The star sustained several injuries from the crash, including broken ribs, a broken nose, leg and femur.
Morgan underwent surgery on his leg on Sunday.
Roper is charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. Under New Jersey law, a person can be charged with assault by auto if they cause injury after knowingly operating a vehicle while being awake for more than 24 hours.
The collision killed Morgan’s fellow passenger, comedian James McNair — who performed under the name Jimmy Mack. He was a close friend and mentor to Morgan.
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