Actor Tracy Morgan and two others remain in critical condition after a tractor-trailer collided with their limousine bus, causing a six-car pileup on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Morgan was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1996-2003 and starred in 30 Rock from 2006 until the show’s end in 2013. He was returning from a stand-up comedy show in Delaware early on Saturday, June 7, when the crash occurred.
Comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr. and Jeffrey Millea were also in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Brunswick as of Sunday. Comedian Harris Stanton was treated and released from the hospital Saturday. Morgan’s mentor James McNair, who performs as “Jimmy Mack,” was killed when the limousine bus overturned.
The tractor trailer was driven by 35-year-old Kevin Roper, who failed to slow for traffic ahead and swerved to avoid a crash at the last minute, according to reports from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office. The truck collided with the back of the Mercedes limousine bus, causing a chain-reaction that involved an SUV, two cars, and another tractor-trailer. The drivers and passengers of the other vehicles were uninjured.
The Associated Press reported that Roper turned himself in to state police on Saturday, accompanied by his attorney. He was charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. Roper, a native of Jonesboro, Georgia, posted a $50,000 bail and was released. Roper was driving the big rig for Walmart, and the corporation is said to be cooperating fully with law enforcement.
According to CNN, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash in terms of commercial trucking and limousine safety.
Morgan, 45, performed at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Delaware the night of the crash. Morgan has appeared in a number of stand-up specials, TV shows and movies, including Punk’d, The Longest Yard, G-Force, Rio, and Tanked. As Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock, Morgan portrayed an exaggerated version of himself—a politically incorrect comedian in New York who started out in a rough neighborhood. He received an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor for 30 Rock in 2009.