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Comedian Tracy Morgan in Critical Condition After Accident on New Jersey Turnpike; Driver Charged.
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 06/07/14 1:05 pm | updated: 06/07/14 1:05 pm
 
Actor and Comedian Tracy Morgan is in critical condition after a six vehicle accident on the New Jersey Turnpike early Saturday morning. The accident happened at 1:30 a.m. in the northbound lanes of the Turnpike near mile 72 in Cranbury, NJ. It involved two tractor-trailers, a limo bus, an SUV, and two passenger cars. Morgan was traveling in the limo bus with 6 other people. Officials say that the preliminary investigation shows that one of the tractor trailers is to blame, rear ending the limo and causing it to roll over.

UPDATE: Tractor-trailer driver Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Ga., was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. He turned himself in to authorities early Saturday evening. Roper failed to notice traffic slowing down in front of him until it was too late. Bail is set at $50,000. He was driving for Walmart. (see statement below)

Morgan was taken to the intensive care unit at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. 63 year-old James McNair of Peekskill, New York, a writer and friend, died at the scene. He was riding in the limo. Two other occupants are also in critical condition, one is in fair condition, and two were not injured.

The following statement is from Morgan's publicist Lewis Kay:

"Tracy remains in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. He sustained these injuries in an accident that occurred early this morning as one of several passengers in a chauffeured SUV returning from a tour date in Delaware. His family is now with him and he is receiving excellent care. We don't anticipate much of a change in his condition today but will provide a further update once more information becomes available."

The New Jersey Turnpike was closed for several hours near Exit 7A but has since reopened.

Morgan is best known for his work on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock”. He was returning home after performing at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Dover, DE.

UPDATE: Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon issued the following statement:

“We’re praying for the family and friends of the passenger who lost his life in the terrible accident in New Jersey. Our hearts go out to everyone involved and we hope those who were injured get the care that they need and make a full recovery.

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.
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.”

The NTSB will be joining state police in the investigation.

 
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