Sad News. This weekend, actor/comedian Tracey Morgan was involved in a fatal car crash, that took the life of his friend, comedic writer Jimmy Mack. Tracey remains in critical condition after suffering several injuries including broken ribs and a broken femur. The accident was caused when a 35 year old man driving a Walmart Sam’s Club big rig, slammed into the back of Morgan’s SUV causing a 6 car pile up. The man has been released on bond after being charged with vehicular homicide. Morgan remains in critical condition. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families.
According to MSN:
The Wal-Mart truck driver from Georgia accused of triggering a crash in New Jersey that critically injured Tracy Morgan and killed another comedian had not slept for more than 24 hours, a criminal complaint said.
A court official on Monday said 35-year-old Kevin Roper is scheduled to face an initial court appearance on Wednesday. He remains free after posting $50,000 bond.
Roper has been charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.
Authorities said the Jonesboro, Georgia, resident apparently failed to slow for traffic ahead early Saturday in Cranbury Township and swerved at the last minute to avoid a crash. Instead, his big rig smashed into the back of Morgan‘s chauffeured Mercedes limo bus, killing comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, authorities said.
The 45-year-old actor and comedian, a former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” cast member, remained in critical condition early Monday. Morgan’s spokesman, Lewis Kay, said he was “more responsive” Sunday after having surgery for a broken leg.
Kay said Morgan also suffered a broken femur, a broken nose and several broken ribs and is expected to remain hospitalized for several weeks. He said Morgan’s family is “tremendously overwhelmed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from his fans.”
Tyrone Gale, who was driving the limo bus, told ABC News that he was disoriented after the vehicle flipped over and could hear Morgan yelling for help.
“I climbed around and heard Tracy screaming for help,” Gale said. “I climbed up on the body of the limo bus … but I couldn’t reach them.”
Wal-Mart President Bill Simon said in a statement that the company “will take full responsibility” if authorities determine its truck caused the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board is working with state police to look at any issues in the crash related to commercial trucking and limousine safety.
According to police, 63-year-old comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair of Peekskill, NY was the passenger inside the limo bus who lost his life in the six-vehicle crash, which involved two tractor trailers, two cars, an SUV and the limo bus Tracy and crew were riding in. Jimmy Mack was a close friend of the comedian.
Initial reports indicated there were seven injured people, but the prosecutor’s statement confirms there were actually four. Two of Tracy’s friends/comedians Harris Stanton and Ardie Fuqua are among those who were critically injured.
It’s said that a tractor trailer rear-ended slow moving traffic which caused the accident. Police have charged 35-year-old Georgia Wal-Mart truck driver Kevin Roper with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.
Sgt. Gregory Williams of New Jersey State Police said:
“NJSP says the driver of the tractor-trailer failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead,” Williams said. “At the last minute, he swerved to try and avoid the Mercedes limo bus but struck it from behind, forcing the limo to rotate and overturn.”
The former “30 Rock” star and his crew were traveling from Delaware where Tracy performed at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino on Friday. Ardie Fuqua posted the picture above from the event just after his show before they started to make their way back to NYC. He captioned, “This is what it looks like from the stage to see a standing ovation from 1500 people. Then we traveled back to NYC in style in a luxury Mercedes Sprinter. Road life is a good life! #tracymorgan”
Tracy’s publicist released a statement on Saturday on Tracy’s condition saying,
“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.”
Here’s raw video footage of the accident site:
Last month, the former “SNL” star had signed a deal for a new untitled comedy series on NBC which was expected to debut in January 2015.
Please pray for Jimmy Mack’s family and Tracey and his friends for a speedy and complete recovery.