Truck Driver in Tracy Morgan Crash Allegedly Hadn't Slept in 24 Hours

Prosecutor's office and investigators say sleep deprivation was to blame for accident that injured the comedian and killed one of his friends.
8:01 | 06/09/14

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Transcript for Truck Driver in Tracy Morgan Crash Allegedly Hadn't Slept in 24 Hours
This is a special. The truck driver police say caused the crash that nearly killed comedian Tracy Morgan. Had not slept in a 24 hours before the incident 35 year old Kevin Grover was behind the wheels of Wal-Mart -- that -- into the back of Morgan's limo bus. Early Saturday morning. One on Dan -- in New York another comedian Morgan's friend Jamie Mac McNair was killed in that accident -- turnpike. Morgan remains in critical condition today at Robert Wood Johnson university hospital -- publicist says he has become quote more responsive though. In the past 24 hours with the latest now that he ABC's -- Charles -- is in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Well it's upsetting to hear this but it looks like the prosecutor's office and investigators are pointing to sleep deprivation as causing. All of these this pain and suffering and even the death of one man mr. James McNair. In my hand and holding this unsealed. Criminal complaint from this case now -- I'm and usually it's easily like this so -- explicitly talked about this truck drivers quote operating a truck with -- having slept for a period. In excess of 24 hours resulting in a motor vehicle accident. The fatal crash northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike state police say was caused by the driver of this Wal-Mart truck. He's 35 year old Kevin roper out of Georgia and based on his lack of reaction to slower vehicles in front of them his sleep history has been called into question. He's accused of rear ending the Mercedes limousine truck comedian Tracy Morgan and six others. Were riding. They were on their way back from a comedy gig in Delaware the -- first talked to us by phone. I felt like an explosion. I just remembered their impact and -- vehicle going by and I climbed to -- room and heard -- she screamed for help. That driver described a violent and unavoidable collision at 1 Saturday morning passengers were thrown throughout the vehicle. And he had to kick out his window to get into the back of the battered truck. Killed in the crash was Tracy -- good friend and mentor. James McNair also known as Jimmy Mac. Morgan suffered a severe upper leg break a broken nose and -- Tracy Morgan and his friends Jeffrey -- was actually his personal assistant. And Marty Fuqua are all still listed in critical condition here -- at Robert Wood Johnson university hospital. The first court appearance for that Wal-Mart truck driver. Is supposed to happen Wednesday at 9 AM. Michelle Charles -- four ABC news. So with more on the investigation I want -- -- ABC's -- -- ski. With the latest on this and Eric who what does the truck driver being charged with specifically. Death by auto is the main charge and then there are other offenses tied to and he'll be in court as Michelle said on on Wednesday for the first time he's posted a 50000 dollar bail. So that he can remain free until then -- Kevin roper had turned himself in. Shortly after police had named him as the primary a cause -- of the accident that. Killed James McNair and injured Tracy Morgan and two others and what is that punishable what is the -- in fact if he is convicted of those charges. I have to go back and look at the statute I'm not sure the specific possible sentence but it it would be from -- for several years and in prison and we're trying to figure out -- roper has any other. Kind of a record we checked in with the DMV and Georgia where he's from and we hadn't gotten -- -- we're looking in -- to his background we're also trying to talk to Wal-Mart to initially Wal-Mart said it would take full responsibility. If in fact one of its drivers was determined to -- cause the accident. But we also want to know little more now about his work history where was -- In the immediate did you hours before that the accident where -- as prosecutors said it in a period of an excess of 24 hours still a lot of questions. Based on on what prosecutors have told us so far. Have we learned anything else about the actual cause of of -- of the crash about timeline the sequence of events that -- occurred on Saturday. Well it it doesn't seem like from the very start police had focused on whether roper either fell asleep for dozed off. For whatever reason and now we we think it must've been because he was tired. If he was going far too fast and and did not notice and collection of traffic that was up ahead of him on the northbound lanes. On the New Jersey Turnpike and cranberry New Jersey about an hour and change outside a New York City. And that's where a Tracy Morgan and his entourage were in a limo bus a chauffeured limo -- a Mercedes sprinter. They. Just that -- unsuspecting victims of of this Wal-Mart truck driver. Who comes on very quickly and and police initially focused on dozing off because. He came on quickly and only at the last second. Did he maneuver to try and avoid the accident. Have we heard anything else aside from the statement by Tracy Morgan's publicist earlier. From either Morgan's team or his -- -- He's apparently a bit more responsive than he was at the outset -- certainly good news but he's still listed in critical condition as are the others. Who were injured and their conditions were told are not expected to to improve or change demonstrably. Over the the short term. Now that the long term prognosis we haven't heard much about either -- your doctor citing privacy laws of the hospital. Our only releasing updates about the condition but the family and and publicists say that. -- it's going to be a long haul it sounds like because he was gravely injured in based on the instant death of James McNair at the scene of the accident 1 -- Saturday morning. He's got lucky to be alive at this point. Well what about the actual of this limo bus this Mercedes stricter itself whether seat belts on -- side of this is that is it bench row seating dude where investigators are pursuing are trying to piece that -- to try to understand that the extent of the injuries. Nick -- can be configured in different ways so we don't know yet how this one was configured but it when you're riding in one of those and you know maybe you don't think that you're going to need to seat belts seat belts we'll certainly be part of the investigation going forward -- Dan. The main. The focus of police seems to be on sleep deprivation and for a period in excess of 24 hours prior to the crash general for prosecutors say. Hadn't slept and fatigue. He is the leading cause of crashes involving big rigs and it's been a problem at the national highway transportation traffic safety administration. Has been no well aware of and and a problem for -- all long haul type truckers. This stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike is known as a particularly dangerous one although. Deaths on that stretch of of the turnpike had been down recently -- fatigue does seem to be the primary factor here. We had just heard in Michelle's report earlier of the driver of that sprinter. Reacting to what had happened and what he had tried to do once that vehicle -- flipped over did we ever heard anything yet so far though. -- -- the moments that were leading up to that crash. Nothing other than it had been a slow go does Mercedes -- and a caring Tracy Morgan and his entourage were coming up from Delaware. They have performed at a hotel and casino in Delaware there are coming back to New York City so they could fly out to North Carolina for a show on Saturday. And apparently were caught in this slow moving or stopped traffic. And that's when the Wal-Mart tractor trailer came along going far too fast and and perhaps the driver. Dozing off for outright falling asleep or or even just fatigues and couldn't stop in time are. ABC's characters -- with the latest on the investigation Aaron thank you for that appreciate it as always. This has been an ABC news digital special report you can keep up with this story in real time by downloading ABC news -- starring the story for exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm down Cutler -- New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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