Kevin Roper, a 35-year-old truck driver who caused a six-car accident in New Jersey, has been taken into custody. One man died and three others including Tracy Morgan were critically injured. The trucker was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. He turned himself in to authorities Saturday afternoon, June 7 and was being held on $50,000 bail.
The accident happened early Saturday morning in the northbound lanes of the Cranbury Township section of the turnpike near mile marker 71.5. The driver of the truck "failed to observe slow moving traffic ahead of him" and swerved at the last minute in an attempt to avoid an accident.
But the vehicle hit the back of the Mercedes limousine bus where Morgan was passenger along with fellow comedians Harris Stanton and Ardie Fuqua, overturning it and causing a chain-reaction crash that involved a second tractor-trailer, an SUV, and two other cars.
62-year-old James McNair of Peekskill, N.Y. was killed in the crash, while Fuqua was allegedly among the seriously injured victims. They were airlifted to a hospital in New Brunswick for intensive care. The two drivers assigned for the limo and the occupants of the other vehicles thankfully were not injured.
Morgan's rep said in a statement, "Tracy remains in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. He sustained these injuries in an accident that occurred early this morning as one of several passengers in a chauffeured SUV returning from a tour date in Delaware. His family is now with him and he is receiving excellent care. We don't anticipate much of a change in his condition today but will provide a further update once more information becomes available."
Walmart confirmed one of its trucks was involved in the accident. "If it's determined that our truck caused the accident, Walmart will take full responsibility," the company stated. "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."