A New Jersey grand jury recently indicted the Wal-Mart truck driver accused of causing an accident that injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed another person. The New Jersey Turnpike accident that injured Morgan also resulted in the death of James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, a comedian and close friend of Morgan who happened to be in the limousine.
The truck accident occurred on June 7, 2014. Morgan, a passenger in a limousine traveling on the NJ Turnpike, sustained serious, life-threatening injuries when Kevin Roper allegedly crashed into the limo. According to prosecutors in the case, Roper was exhausted because he had not slept for more than 28 hours.
In total, nine people sustained injuries due to the fatal car accident. Law enforcement indicated that when Roper’s truck slammed into Morgan’s limousine, the crash set off a chain reaction involving four other vehicles.
In the aftermath of the truck collision, federal and state officials conducted an investigation. Prosecutors later brought criminal charges against Roper. Among the most serious charges were aggravated manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, and aggravated assault. Now Roper has been indicted on the charges by a Middlesex County grand jury.
Under federal safety regulations, enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck drivers are required to take a mandatory rest period after driving for 11 continuous hours. It is alleged that Roper was in violation of these sleep requirements when he crashed into Morgan’s limo. Beyond that, prosecutors argue, Roper was driving 20 miles over the speed limit at the time of the accident.
The truck accident left Morgan with catastrophic injuries, including a traumatic brain injury. Shortly after reports of the accident began to leak to the media, many people began to fear that Morgan might never recover from his injuries. Only after several months of difficult rehabilitation was Morgan finally able to return, in some capacity, to the entertainment industry. In October 2015, Morgan hosted “Saturday Night Live,” the popular sketch comedy show on which he was a cast member for seven years.
Meanwhile, it still remains possible that Roper could be subject to a civil suit, depending on agency law. Although Morgan and others who were injured in the crash have already reached personal injury settlements with Wal-Mart, Roper’s employer, the criminal charges might not be the end of Roper’s legal situation.
For further information about the grand jury indictment in the Tracy Morgan accident case, access the Yahoo.com article, “New Jersey Grand Jury Indicts Trucker in Tracy Morgan Crash.”
If you are facing criminal vehicular manslaughter or aggravated assault charges in New Jersey, contact an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who will fight for your rights and your freedom. Contact the law offices of Stephen R. Piper today for a consultation about your charges.