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Authorities say that Kevin Roper, the Walmart truck driver charged in the car crash that killed comedian James McNair and left Tracy Morgan critically injured, had not slept in 24 hours before the crash.
The six-car pile-up occurred early Saturday, as Morgan and his team were riding in a limo back to New York on the New Jersey Turnpike. Morgan’s limo overturned during the crash.
Roper, 35, was charged with one court of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. He is due back in court on Wednesday.
According to The Associated Press, authorities say that Roper had not seen the slowed traffic and swerved in an effort to avoid it. The truck then smashed into Morgan’s limo. McNair, known as “Jimmy Mack,” was killed in the crash.
NBC News notes that, in a criminal complaint, authorities said that Roper had not slept for 24 hours before the crash. Federal regulations require tired drivers to pull over if tired and they are not supposed to drive more than 70 hours in a week without breaks.
Morgan’s rep, Lewis Kay, did release another statement on Sunday, noting, “While Tracy remains in critical condition, he has been more responsive today, which is an incredibly encouraging sign.” Kay added that Morgan suffered several injuries, including a “broken leg, a broken femur, a broken nose and several broken ribs” and underwent surgery on his leg Sunday morning. He will stay hospitalized for several weeks and is still in critical condition.
image courtesy of Walter McBride/INFphoto.com