Truck driver charged in crash that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan

By Tom Boggioni
Saturday, June 7, 2014 17:58 EDT
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A Georgia truck driver has been charged in the traffic accident that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed another man early this morning.

Kevin Ropwer, 35, a Georgia truck driver has been charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto, according to the Chicago Tribune.

State police say the actor/comedian was critically injured in the crash involving two tractor-trailers, a sports utility vehicle and two cars, along with Morgan’s limo bus, that left at least one person dead and several others with serious injuries.

Killed was James McNair, 63, of Peekskill, N.Y., who was traveling with Morgan, according to state police Sgt. First Class Gregory Williams.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Col. Joseph R. Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, announced the charges against Rowper.

According to authorities, a preliminary investigation showed that Rowper fell asleep at the wheel which led to the chain reaction crash, overturning the limo.

“The driver failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead,” Williams said. “He observed at the last minute — just prior to impact — the limo bus carrying Morgan and his party.”

According to police, the tractor-trailer swerved left to avoid the limo, but rear-ended it, before hitting another vehicle. The limo carrying Morgan, lost control, turned sideways before rolling over and hitting another car and tractor-trailer. Rowper’s big rig came to a stop against a guard rail.

Roper is expected to surrender to authorities, and his bail was set at $50,000.

Morgan, who is best known for his roles on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,” is currently in intensive care at  Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and is listed in critical condition.

Morgan was returning from a performance at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Delaware, and was headed towards New York City when the crash occurred. His scheduled appearance at the Fillmore Charlotte in North Carolina on Saturday night has been canceled.

Tom Boggioni
Tom Boggioni
Tom Boggioni is based in the quaint seaside community of Pacific Beach in less quaint San Diego. He writes about politics, media, culture, and other annoyances. Mostly he spends his days at the beach gazing at the horizon waiting for the end of the world, or the sun to go down. Whichever comes first.
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