Tracy Morgan is recovering after he and his entourage were in an SUV limo struck that was hit in the rear by a Walmart truck while on the New Jersey Turnpike near Cranbury Township, and causing a five-car chain-reaction crash that led to the death of one person in Morgan’s car, injuries to the five other passengers.
Tracy Morgan is still (as of this writing) in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital.
James McNair, 63, one of Morgan’s comedy writers and a mentor who took Morgan under his wing, was killed. Comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr. and Morgan’s assistant, Jeffrey Milles, are both reported to be in critical condition. Comedian Harris Stanton was treated and released from the hospital, and two others in the limo, unnamed, were not hurt, including the driver.
Walmart truck driver Kevin Roper, of Jonesboro, Georgia, reportedly faces four counts of assault by auto. Roper’s bail was set at $50,000, and he was expected to turn himself in later Saturday.
N.J.com reports that a State Police spokesman said Roper did not see slow moving traffic ahead of his truck as it traveled northbound on the Turnpike through Cranbury Township.
The Walmart truck crashed into the 2012 Mercedes Sprinter, the SUV limo that was carrying Morgan and several others.
Walmart issued this 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.”
Stay tuned and I hope Tracy gets well soon.