A Tracy Morgan accident update reveals that Kevin Roper was indicted on December 23, on manslaughter charges. Morgan suffered broken bones and a head injury, while friend and mentor James McNair was killed in the June 7, 2014, accident involving a Walmart truck and a limo bus.
Roper was also indicted by a New Jersey grand jury on eight counts of third-degree aggravated assault for causing bodily injuries to Morgan and three others. The one count of first-degree manslaughter charge was for the death of 62-year-old McNair.
The Walmart truck driver who crashed into a vehicle carrying comedian Tracy Morgan is charged with manslaughter https://t.co/C0ou7rZva5
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 24, 2015
In August 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that Roper, 35, was the primary cause of the accident. Morgan, 47, best known for his Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock comedy, was in a limo bus, which was rear ended by the Walmart truck on a New Jersey turnpike. He suffered a broken leg, nose, and ribs in the accident, along with brain injuries. He was in a coma for two weeks and has no recollection of the incident.
After the accident, an update revealed that Morgan was suffering from memory trouble along with headaches and nosebleeds. A major cause of the accident was fatigue. Roper had driven for 12 hours prior to starting his 14-hour shift, noted a CNN report. The accident not only involved Morgan, but six other vehicles and a total of 21 people.
According to a September 2014 CBS report, Walmart’s initial response to the suit filed by Morgan’s attorney, Benedict Morelli, stated that Morgan’s injuries were “caused, in whole, or in part, by plaintiffs’ failure to properly wear an appropriate available seat belt restraint device.” Walmart later settled the accident case with Morgan and the family of McNair.
“I’m just happy that they looked out for Jimmy Mac’s [James McNair] family. He can rest in peace now. In the beginning there was a misunderstanding but that got squared away. They came through in the clutch.”
Roper’s attorney, David Jay Glassman, argued that the much-publicized Morgan settlement with Walmart prejudiced the public’s opinion, which makes it impossible for Roper to obtain a fair trial. Glassman also questions whether the indictment will stand, added CNN.
“[The prosecutor] ran out of opportunities to corrupt the defendant’s right to due process and finally elected to present the matter to the grand jury which surprisingly after over a year of continuous negative publicity, returned an Indictment.”
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) December 24, 2015
Since the time of the accident, Morgan made his first public appearance at the Prime Time Emmy Awards on September 20, 2015. He also appeared on a Saturday Night Live reunion show this past October and has announced a stand-up comedy tour.
Although the comic has made a comeback, he stated that his life is forever changed.
“You’re never going to be normal after you go through something like that. You don’t die for a few weeks and then come back to normal, trust me. Something’s going to be missing, something’s going to be gained — you just got to live your life after that. But after surviving something like that, I’m probably never going to feel normal.”
In August 2014, Morgan married long-time girlfriend Megan Wollover, who stood by him after the accident. He attributes his progress and recovery to her help.
Morgan answered questions the public may have concerning his capabilities in light of the serious accident, per E Online. Jokingly, he said, “People are wondering, ‘Can he speak? Does he have 100 percent mental capacity?’ But the truth is, I never did! I might actually be a few points higher now.”
Tracy Mogan has stated that, 18 months after the accident, he is still recovering.
[Image: Kevin Winter/Getty]