Fox News host Tucker Carlson appeared on Fox and Friends Sunday to discuss the vehicle crash that killed comic James McNair and injured four others, including comedian and actor Tracy Morgan at 1:00 a.m. Saturday that involved six vehicles. A Wal-Mart truck driver is accused of falling asleep at the wheel, causing the crash.
The driver allegedly hadn’t slept in 24 hours before the crash.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules allow a driver to drive for up to 11 consecutive hours, but the driver then must take a 10-hour break.
Attorney David Schwartz told Carlson and his co-hosts that the driver, who turned himself in, could face five to ten years in jail falling asleep — which is an act of reckless driving in New Jersey — and involuntary manslaughter, reported the Huffington Post.
“I’m not trying to take anything away from the tragedy of this,” Carlson said. “But 10 years in jail for falling asleep? It strikes me as very different from taking drugs, drinking. Has that ever happened? Has anybody ever actually gone to jail for falling asleep?”
“For falling asleep and causing a death?” Schwartz asked. “Absolutely.”
Carlson seemed surprised by this, saying “But, I mean sometimes people – and I’m not defending anyone here. I’m really struck by the idea that someone who falls asleep – which is something that everybody does every day, not necessarily considered an act of recklessness – does it unintentionally, nods off is a criminal.”
Schwartz conceded that it was not “an intentional murder” but falling asleep driving a 16-wheel truck is “certainly an act of recklessness.”
Just days ago, the US Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment removing the requirement that truck drivers get at least 34 consecutive hours of rest beginning each work week.
Administrator for the FMCSA, Anne Ferro, wrote in a blog post that driver fatigue is a leading cause in large truck crashes.
“We carefully considered the public safety and health risks of long work hours, and solicited input from everyone who has a stake in this important issue, including victim’s advocates, truck drivers and companies. Suspending the current Hours-of-Service safety rules will expose families and drivers to greater risk every time they’re on the road.”
“They always survive, by the way, the people who cause accidents,” Carlson concluded.
In a bit of irony, Carlson fell asleep on his show last August while it was on commercial break. When they came back on air, he was still asleep, according to the New York Daily News.
“He’s really asleep,” co-host Mike Jerrick whispered. Allisyn Camerota laughed, saying, “I don’t think we’re being good co-hosts right now.”
Carlson woke up to which Jerrick quipped “Welcome to Fox and Friends.”
[Image via foxnewsinsider.com]