News reports indicate that the truck driver involved in the weekend crash that killed a man and left comedian Tracy Morgan in critical condition was awake for more than 24 hours before the wreck southwest of New York City.
The 35-year-old Walmart driver has been charged with vehicular homicide in the truck accident. A company spokesperson said the trucker “was operating within the federal hours of service regulations” that limit drivers to 11 hours of driving in a 24-hour period.
The violent crash happened Saturday at about 1 a.m. on the New Jersey Turnpike when the limousine bus Morgan was riding in with fellow performers was slammed into by an 18-wheeler. Comedian James McNair was killed in the collision in which the limo was overturned by the impact of the big rig.
Two other comedians were injured, as was another man in the vehicle and the limo driver.
Yesterday afternoon, the 45-year-old Morgan was listed in critical but stable condition. He sustained a broken leg, broken femur, broken nose and broken ribs and is expected to spend weeks in the hospital.
A sergeant with the New Jersey State Police said the trucker did not notice that traffic had slowed ahead of him. Just before impact with the limo, the truck driver tried to swerve and miss the vehicle, but rammed it from behind, the officer said, “forcing the limo to rotate and overturn.”
No one was injured in the four other vehicles also involved in the accident.
The officer said it is not believed that the trucker was under the influence of alcohol, but the possibility is being investigated.
Morgan, a native of New York City, starred on “Saturday Night Live” and later on “30 Rock.”
The crash reminds everyone of the extreme dangers commercial trucks pose when truckers are fatigued. Those who have been injured in a similar accident should speak with an experienced attorney before discussing anything with an insurance company.
Source: CNN, “Police: Driver charged in Tracy Morgan crash was awake 24 hours,” Kevin Conlon, Doug Ganley, June 9, 2014