Truck Driver Charged, Released on Bail for Crash That Critically Injured Tracy Morgan

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 8 2014 1:07 PM

Truck Driver Charged, Released on Bail for Crash That Critically Injured Tracy Morgan

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Tracy Morgan attends Howard Stern's Birthday Bash at Hammerstein Ballroom on January 31, 2014 in New York City

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Tracy Morgan and two other people who were travelling with him, including comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr., remain in critical condition a day after a tractor trailer slammed into the limousine bus that was carrying the 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live veteran. Morgan’s mentor, fellow comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, was killed in the crash. Morgan’s assistant, Jeff Millea, is also in critical condition. Kevin Roper, a 35-year-old truck driver from Georgia, turned himself in to state police and was charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. He was released on $50,000 bail on Saturday night. The Wal-Mart truck driver apparently smashed into the limo bus when he tried to swerve in order to avoid a crash. Despite numerous media reports to the contrary, a state police official tells the Associated Press that there is no evidence to suggest Roper fell asleep at the wheel.

"I just remember the impact ... We didn't know which way was up, which way was down. I don't know if we flipped several times or one time," said Tyron Gale, the limo bus driver who claims he heard Morgan scream for help after the crash, reports ABC News. "I saw the condition of everybody and I knew it would just make it worse if I tried to pull them up and out of the vehicle." Wal-Mart President Bill Simon issued a statement saying that “if it’s determined that our truck caused the accident,” the company “will take full responsibility.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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