Tracy Morgan was critically injured with a broken leg, broken nose, and several broken ribs, after a fatal six-car wreck in New Jersey.
Kevin Roper, the truck driver that fell asleep at the wheel and caused the crash, was charged with one death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.
Roper, a 35-year-old truck driver, has been taken into custody. One man died and three others including Tracy Morgan were critically injured. The trucker was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. He turned himself in to authorities Saturday afternoon, June 7 and was released on $50,000 bail.
The accident happened early Saturday morning in the northbound lanes of the Cranbury Township section of the New Jersey turnpike near mile marker 71.5. The driver of the truck “failed to observe slow moving traffic ahead of him” and swerved at the last minute in an attempt to avoid an accident.
The truck struck the back of the Mercedes limousine bus where Morgan was passenger along with fellow comedians Harris Stanton and Ardie Fuqua (pictured above in lower right), overturning the limo and causing a chain-reaction crash that involved a second tractor-trailer, an SUV, and two other cars.
Here’s raw video of the crash aftermath:
Vicktoria stated, “My husband saw the Wal-Mart truck swerving, and he slammed on the brakes. The truck hit the Mercedes, and then it hit the guard rail and another white SUV. It was like a movie in slow motion. The Mercedes spun out of control and then flipped over and came to rest on the driver’s side”.
She continued, “We parked about 20 feet away. I said to my husband and son, ‘Oh, my God. We need to get out there and see whether anyone got really hurt.’ My son jumped out and was the first on the scene; my husband and I were right behind him. The woman in the white SUV was fine, and so was the driver of the Wal-Mart truck. But it was obvious that the people in the Mercedes were really hurt.”
“Because the SUV was lying on the driver’s side, the passenger’s side was now facing up. The driver had gotten out and was standing on top of the passenger’s side. He and someone else, I think a passenger, were trying to get people out. The passenger was trying to rip out the divider between the front seat and the back of the SUV. The windshield was broken. You could see blood everywhere. You could tell it was really bad”.
The eyewitness adds, “They pulled Ardie [Fuqua] out of the SUV and put him on the cement. We were trying to keep him as alert as much as we could. He was going in and out of consciousness, so I was trying to keep him awake, calling his name and telling him to stay strong. It was pretty obvious he was in shock. It was very dark out. All we had was a miniature flashlight to see what was going on. We heard that there were other guys inside the Mercedes. By this point, the passenger had removed all that was blocking the back seats from the front seat, so we could see in. They were in rough shape”.
Tracy’s ex-wife, Sabrina Morgan, said Tracy suffered a broken leg and other injuries and was lying unconscious in the hospital. Sabina said her old high school sweetheart, whom she divorced in 2009, would be heartbroken to know one of his closest friends, McNair, had died.
She explained, “He was one of the first comedians that took Tracy under his wing. They were very close.”
McNair’s sister, Valerie Daniel, told CNN that her brother “spoke very highly of Tracy. They go way back.”
The mother of Morgan’s fiancee, Megan Wollover, said she was heartbroken. Christine Wollover said of the crash, “I was devastated. I couldn’t believe it. I was just hoping and praying that my daughter and the baby weren’t in the car.”
Wollover said her 27-year-old daughter and the couple’s 11-month-old baby usually travel with the comedian on tours.
She adds, “I’m relieved for her and my granddaughter. But (Morgan) is the foundation. I love him dearly, and I just hope he gets through this.” Walmart confirmed one of its trucks involved in the accident. “If it’s determined that our truck caused the accident, Walmart will take full responsibility,” the company stated. “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.”
Tracy’s rep said the comedian was more responsive on Sunday, but will be in the hospital for weeks after suffering a broken femur, a broken nose, and several broken ribs. Morgan had surgery on his broken leg earlier today.
The actor’s rep said, “His family is tremendously overwhelmed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from his fans.”
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