Tracy Morgan crash: NTSB says truck driver was speeding on New Jersey Turnpike

By Daniel S Levine,

The Walmart truck driver that caused the June 7 six-vehicle crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that left comedian Tracy Morgan hospitalized and comedian James McNair dead was speeding at the time, federal investigators said in a report released Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report determined that the driver of the truck, Kevin Roper, was traveling at 65 miles per hour for a minute before the crash at around 12:54 a.m. The posted speed limit in the area is 55 mph to 45 mph, as there was a construction project in that area of the turnpike.

Roper did not notice that traffic had slowed and tried to swerve out of the way. However, he struck the limo van with Morgan and his crew, which then rolled over and landed on its left side. One person - McNair - was killed, while four others, including Morgan, were rushed to the hospital. Although there were six vehicles in the crash, no other passengers were hospitalized.

The NTSB notes that it is still investigating Roper’s activities leading up to the crash. His electronic log information shows that the crash happened only 30 miles from his Philadelphia stop. He logged a total of 9 hours 37 minutes in driving time and was on the job for a total of 13 hours 32 minutes at the time of the crash.

Roper, who was driving a Walmart truck, has pleaded not guilty to charges related to the crash. Meanwhile, Morgan’s rep said that he is doing better and was upgraded to “fair condition.”

image courtesy of Walter McBride/INFphoto.com

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