Truck Driver Charged With Causing Crash That Injured Tracy Morgan
1 killed, 4 injured in crash on N.J. Turnpike.
June 7, 2014— -- A truck driver has been charged with causing the multi-car crash that killed one and left four injured, including comedian Tracy Morgan.
Police had said they believed the driver was dozing and didn't see traffic slowing in front of his 18-wheeler until it was too late, crashing into the vehicle carrying comedian Morgan and his entourage.
Morgan, 45, was in critical condition after the six vehicle crash this morning on the New Jersey Turnpike. Another person on the limo bus was killed and two others were injured, officials said.
"Driver failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead," New Jersey State Police Sgt. First Class Gregory Williams said. "He observed at the last minute -- just prior to impact -- the limo bus carrying Morgan and his party."
The truck driver, Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Ga., was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto after the tractor-trailer he was driving crashed into the van at 1 a.m. today, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office said.
Morgan, who starred in NBC's "30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live," was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J.
"His family is now with him and he is receiving excellent care," read a statement from his rep, Lewis Kay. "We don't anticipate much of a change in his condition today."
James McNair, a passenger on board the limo bus with Morgan, was killed in the crash, police said. He was comedy writer for Morgan.
Morgan's assistant, Jeff Millea, was also in critical condition after he was injured, an official briefed on the investigation said.
The two other victims were identified as Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton, another comedian. Their conditions hadn't been released as of midday.
Watch: I Am Not Tracy Jordan
Watch: His Life On and Off Stage
The six-vehicle crash happened in the northbound lanes at mile marker 71.5 near New Brunswick about 1 a.m., according to N.J. State Police.
The accident was a chain reaction caused by the first truck, a Peterbilt with Oklahoma plates, Williams said.
When the driver of the truck suddenly became aware of the Mercedes Sprinter limo bus in front of him, he swerved left to avoid it, but struck the limo bus in the rear and then hit another vehicle, Williams said.
The limo bus carrying Morgan lost control and began rotating clockwise and then turned over onto its left side. While it was out of control, the limo bus hit a Buick, which crashed into a Ford F150 pickup truck, and another tractor-trailer.
The truck that caused the accident came to rest on the left shoulder after hitting a guardrail.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway told ABC News that the NTSB is dispatching a team to investigate the accident along with the NJ State Police.
The NTSB is going to focus on the "broad issues concerning commercial traffic safety," and is expected to be on the ground by this evening or Sunday, Holloway said.
Morgan was returning from a performance of his "Turn it Funny" tour in Dover, Del., Friday night.
"This is what it looks like from the stage to see a standing ovation from 1500 people. Then we traveled back to NYC in style in a luxury Mercedes Sprinter. Road life is a good life! #tracymorgan," Fuqua, who opened for Morgan, posted to Instagram shortly after midnight.
Morgan was scheduled to perform in Charlotte, N.C., tonight but the appearance has been canceled.
Morgan has four children, including a daughterto whom his fiancee Megan Wollover gave birth last July.