Monday, January 24, 2022

Tracy Morgan: Truck Driver Who Struck Comedian’s Van Pleads Guilty

Wal-mart truck driver

*Kevin Roper, the Wal-mart truck driver charged in the 2014 vehicle accident that injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed his friend, pleaded guilty this week and could avoid jail time.

Roper appeared in state Superior Court on Tuesday where he pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and four counts of aggravated assault. He was on duty in June 2014 when he crashed into Morgan’s van on the New Jersey Turnpike. The group was returning from Morgan’s show in Delaware., per

An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the accident was caused by Roper’s lack of sleep in the 28 hours before the crash, and his failure to slow down immediately before impact. Despite posted warning signs on the turnpike about construction work in progress, the report found the truck was going 65 mph in a 45 mph zone until about 200 feet before the crash. Roper’s attorney disputed these claims.

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tracy morgan

Comedian James McNair died and three other passengers were injured in the crash. Morgan suffered a broken leg, broken ribs and head injuries. He would spend the next year healing and working with a physical therapist and didn’t make his first public appearance until the summer of 2015.

Vehicular homicide carries a 10-year maximum prison sentence, and 37-year-old Roper also faced an aggravated manslaughter count, which is punishable by a 10-to-30-years. Under terms of his plea, Roper can avoid prison and won’t have a criminal record if he performs community service and satisfies other conditions over the next three years, according to his attorney, David Glassman.

“He is grateful for the opportunity to accept responsibility and move forward in doing what is required to obtain a dismissal of the charges pending against him,” Glassman said in an email to The Associated Press.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. settled separate lawsuits in 2015 brought by Morgan and by McNair’s two children.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.



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