Truck driver charged in fatal crash that left Tracy Morgan critically injured
TORONTO — A truck driver has been charged with death by auto after an accident early Saturday that killed a friend of Tracy Morgan and left the actor-comedian and two others in critical condition.
Kevin Roper, 35, was also charged with four counts of assault by auto in connection to the accident.
Morgan remains in intensive care after the vehicle he was in was struck by a tractor-trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike.
According to state police, the 45-year-old Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star was in a luxury Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van with six other people when it was hit at around 1 a.m. Saturday and flipped over.
BELOW: Watch the aftermath of the crash
Morgan was returning from a show in Dover, Delaware.
The Associated Press reported a spokesman at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey, confirmed Morgan is in critical condition.
Police said passenger James McNair, 62, of Peekskill, N.Y. was pronounced dead at the scene. McNair, known on the comedy circuit as Uncle Jimmy Mack, was Morgan’s writer and friend.
Morgan’s assistant Jeffrey Millea and fellow comedian Ardie Fuqua were also critically injured. Comic Harris Stanton was treated and released from hospital.
According to the van’s owner, there were two drivers — one behind the wheel and one in the front passenger seat. Both escaped uninjured.
Just before the accident, Fuqua posted photos from the show with the message: “Road life is a good life.”
Fuqua lost his 19-year-old son in a car crash in 2012.
Late Saturday morning, Morgan’s rep issued a statement confirming the comic was injured. “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.”
Morgan and his fiancée, model Megan Wollover, welcomed Maven Sonae last July. He also has three adult sons from a previous marriage.
His Saturday show in Charlotte, N.C. has been cancelled.
Morgan’s famous friends and fans reacted on social media.
Say a prayer for my man @RealTracyMorgan. Who was in a bad car accident
— Mike Epps (@TheRealMikeEpps) June 7, 2014
Please get better soon @RealTracyMorgan We’re all pulling for you. My thoughts are with you and your beautiful family.
— Maulik Pancholy (@MaulikPancholy) June 7, 2014
Strength & Speedy Recovery to @RealTracyMorgan who survived a massive car crash this morn.
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) June 7, 2014
Sending best thoughts to Tracy Morgan, injured in an auto accident last night. A real gentleman and hilariously funny. (RT w/correction)
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) June 7, 2014
© Shaw Media, 2014