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On June 7, 2014, truck driver Kevin Roper fell asleep at the wheel while driving on the New Jersey Turnpike. Before he could regain control of his 18-wheeler truck, Roper slammed into a limousine van carrying several celebrities, including actor and comedian Tracy Morgan.
James McNair and Ardie Fuqua, two lesser known comedians, and Jeffrey Millea, Morgan’s agent, were also in the limousine at the time of the truck crash. Millea and Fuqua are currently in critical condition. Sadly, McNair was pronounced dead at the scene of the trucking accident.
As a result of the accident, Morgan suffered several broken ribs, a broken leg, and some severe bruising. According to his close friends and relatives, his lively comedic personality is returning and his spirits are vastly improved.
Kevin Roper, a Georgia native, was driving his truck for Wal-Mart at the time of the accident. He was heading northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike. The area where the accident took place was part of a 35-mile widening project that began roughly five years ago. According to a turnpike representative, two of the three northbound lanes were closed one mile ahead of the location where the accident took place. Investigators believe that this may have caused traffic to slow down significantly. Wal-Mart officials have stated that Roper’s truck was outfitted with a specialized system designed to slow his speed and notify him of stopped traffic ahead. Investigators are unsure of whether this system was fully functional at the time of the crash.
A criminal complaint filed in the aftermath of the accident alleges that Roper had been operating the truck after having gone without sleep for more than twenty-four hours. Roper has pled not guilty to the vehicular manslaughter charges that were brought against him.
Truck accidents, especially on major highways, can be deadly. Because of the sheer weight and size of these vehicles, the ability to maneuver them requires a high degree of skill and concentration. When truck drivers exercise anything less than their complete attention or ability, the results can be horribly tragic.
If you or your loved one have been injured or killed in a Massachusetts truck accident, contact our team of highly-qualified and experienced truck accident attorneys. We will work to pursue your potential claim with the utmost diligence so that you and your family can find the peace and closure that you seek. Your needs are our top priority!