Tragedy struck on the New Jersey Turnpike over the weekend when a truck caused a six-vehicle pile up, killing one and injuring four – among them actor/comedian Tracy Morgan, who was returning from a stand-up comedy show in Delaware.

Reports indicate that the incident occurred early on Saturday morning at 1 a.m. when an apparently drowsy truck driver failed to notice traffic slowing in front of him on the Turnpike in Mercer County, New Jersey. The driver swerved to avoid a collision, but overturned his truck and struck the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter limo-bus that was carrying Morgan and his entourage.

The injured were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, a teaching hospital affiliated with the Rutgers medical school, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Morgan was listed there in critical condition, as was his assistant Jeff Millea. Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton, who were also traveling with Morgan, were also injured in the collision. However James "Jimmy Mac" McNair, a longtime friend of Morgan's, was killed.

Tracy Morgan, of course, is an actor/comedian best known for his roles on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. He and his entourage were returning home from a show entitled "Turn it Funny" at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Delaware. 1,500 fans came out for the show Friday night, in which Fuqua was opening for Morgan.

The driver of the Peterbilt 18-wheeler tractor-trailer with Oklahoma plates was identified as Kevin Roper, age 35, of Jonesboro, Georgia. He was reportedly driving a truck for Walmart, and has been charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.

Our hearts go out to McNair's friends and family, and hope that the injured will make a full recovery soon.


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  • 39 Comments
      d.hollywood
      • 6 Months Ago
      Autonodrive is coming.Humans hauling freight in 18 wheel mammoths is going the way of the elevator operator. Condolences to those who suffered...and their families.
      Hernan
      • 6 Months Ago
      There was a picture showing the van's interior - it had seatbelts, but I'd guess they weren't wearing them. I wonder whether they would have come out better if they had, or whether the Sprinter Limo is just not very crashworthy. Then again, it looked OK given that it was rear-ended by a semi. Here's the inside showing the seats/belts: http://rumorfix.com/2014/06/inside-tracy-morgans-mercedes-sprinter-that-crashed/ And here's pictures of what it looked like after the crash (after it was righted): http://7online.com/entertainment/truck-driver-charged-in-crash-that-left-1-dead-tracy-morgan-injured/99691/
      Hernan
      • 6 Months Ago
      Wonder if anyone is working on a system to recognize/wake dozing drivers in trucks (I know in cars, Mercedes has a system like that and I'm sure other companies either have it or are working on it).
        RocketRed
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Hernan
        Mercedes, and other others, also have emergency auto-braking functions for cars. I realize this gets tricky when you have a trailer to brake as well and you need to avoid a jack-knife situation or capsize. But considering the danger a truck poses, it should be on the table as a regulatory requirement.
      Michael Scoffield
      • 6 Months Ago
      How much do you want to bet that no one in the Sprinter had their seat belt on and upon crashing they were thrown and smashed like puppets ?
        Chris
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Michael Scoffield
        Who wears seatbelts in limos? I don't know the seatbelt laws in every state, but where I am, you don't even have to be strapped in unless you are sitting up front.
          Michael Scoffield
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Chris
          It's the same here, and I have to admit I don't usually wear the seat belt in the back seat and probably nobody does it in a limo. But, there's no denying that they should have it they were concerned for their safety.
      miketim1
      • 6 Months Ago
      18 wheelers are dangerous as F&&&K. I remember one day one almost took me out i was driving back home from upstate. This was around maybe 3 am the road was empty it was just me and a 18 wheeler I was driving about a car length behind him as soon as I give my car some gas to pass suddenly the semi darts across all 4 lines I can see the trailer bed come towards my driver side window i panic and jam my break locking up at about 70. The trailers rear ended goes flying by the front of my car just missing me and the trucks wanders onto the side of the highway he starts driving on those little lumps thats put on the side of the highway and that seems to wake him and and the truck darts back over into a line. Damn guy fell alseep and almost went off the highway and almost took me with him. I called the cops and gave them his plate and told them to be on the lookout of a sleeping semi driver.
      Bernard
      • 6 Months Ago
      I hope that all involved in this accident recover quickly and that Walmart covers all of the hospital bills.
        Pj Taintz
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Bernard
        walmart has made a statement that if its found that their driver is at fault they will gladly cover all expenses
      bobincobb
      • 6 Months Ago
      Tracy who?? Never heard of her. No seatbelts, you reap what you sow. A Sprinter is just another Mercedes van, a fancy people hauler.
      Ricky
      • 6 Months Ago
      How desperate are you, Autoblog?
        Firefly
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Ricky
        ...why are you even here with a comment like that?
      FuelToTheFire
      • 6 Months Ago
      Semi trucks should NOT be allowed on highways under normal circumstances, and shiould be forced to use local roads. If they HAVE to use the highway, they should use their hazard lights, go no more than 40 mphz and have a sign that says, "WARNING:DANGEROUS VEHICLE!!!"
      BlackandMild
      • 6 Months Ago
      The latest is that he has been more responsive today and he suffered several broken bones which includes his ribs, leg, nose...etc. This news sounds promising....still keeping him, his family as well as the family of the deceased in my prayers..... Walmart truck driver is from Georgia, this is no surprise for I swear folks here get their drivers licenses from a box of Cracker Jacks.......
        Chris
        • 6 Months Ago
        @BlackandMild
        Getting a license to drive a truck and a regular car are two totally different things. It's not a matter of just taking a written test at the DMV, knowing how to use your turn signals, and avoiding a few cones in the parking lot, and driving home with a lincense. No, there's a lot of formal training involved. I know because I looked into it at one point.
          Just Stuff
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Chris
          Since when do you need to know how to use your turn signals. Here in the DC metro area I beleive they are an option on the vehicles that most people didn't purchase, including the police.
      Julio B
      • 6 Months Ago
      Hate them all you want but autonomous trucks and cars don't get sleepy...
        Jso Rsa
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Julio B
        Yes, everyone knows that computers are infallible.
        Chris
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Julio B
        Everyday people being even more distracted and isolated from the road while zooming down the highway in 4,000 lb+ machines wouldn't make me feel any safer. I seriously doubt autonomous cars wouldn't be free of issues that require attention from the driver/occupant.
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 6 Months Ago
      Got to enjoy him in his earlier comedic days on the show Uptown Comedy Club. He is always an approachable guy. I also met him at the Supper Club when HBO was filming Def Poetry Jam. Pleasant guy. This was an unfortunate situation. This truly could have happened to anyone. The media has went wild with this for days now and it is just making the situation more tense for the disgraced truck driver. I feel bad for all that were involved. one person actually lost their life. I drive a semi, and if I am tired, I stop. Period. No need to run hard. This is why DOT is going nuts with regulations. The next regulation will be restricted night driving. That would cause severe congestion. Walmart pays very well and is one of the best companies to work for(as far as OTR).
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