Tracy Morgan is extremely lucky to be alive. He survived the June, 2014, crash, which fatally injured his mentor (and long-time friend) James “Jimmy Mack” McNair.
In a candid Rolling Stone interview, Morgan tells readers he actually contemplated suicide, after the life-changing event. He felt guilty because McNair died and he didn’t and guilty because everyone was riding in the car because of him. He goes on to say, it was his sense of humor — in essence, his comedy — that saved him.
The horrendous accident occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike, in the wee hours of the morning on June 7. The comedian and his friends were returning home from Morgan’s comedy show in Delaware, when a Walmart truck diver crashed his 18-wheeler into the back of the group’s chauffeur-driven van. It was later discovered the truck driver hadn’t slept in 28 hours.
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) March 24, 2016
Tracy Morgan was in a coma for eight days, as a result of a traumatic brain injury. Every bone in his face was broken. His left femur was shattered. He had other injuries, as well. At first, doctors weren’t sure he’d survive. But, Morgan got lucky. His prognosis improved rather quickly.
Morgan says he eventually joked he didn’t walk toward the white light because he thought it was the police. He went on to say it was his dad, who (died from AIDS when Morgan was only 19-years-old) who sent him back to Earth.
“He was the one who said, ‘Go home, son. I ain’t ready for you yet.’ I don’t think I cheated death. I think this was the plan. My room wasn’t ready. I still have sh*t here to do.It’s gonna take more than 18 wheels for me to get out of here. I have to raise my girl, raise my wife, raise my family. Exotic pets, too.
“Gotta keep my octopus alive. Gotta keep my sharks alive. Those are God’s creatures! I’m needed!”
Fortunately, Tracy Morgan doesn’t remember anything about the accident, the show he did before the accident or the earliest days of his recovery period.
— Fuse TV (@fusetv) March 25, 2016
Entertainment Weekly, tells readers, even though it’s been almost two years, Tracy is still “grappling with the aftermath” of the terrifying ordeal. Before the crash, the funny man was having nightmares that he was losing his ability to be a comedian.
After the accident, when he still couldn’t walk because of his leg injury, he was in a very dark place. It was then that Morgan started thinking seriously about suicide.
Today, Tracy Morgan will be the first to admit he returned from the great beyond with gifts from some of the comedic gods who have gone before him.
“Maybe when I was in heaven, Richard Pryor said something to me. I feel funnier than I ever felt.”
Last October, Morgan once again hosted Saturday Night Live. He was an integral part of the cast from 1996 to 2003. Needless to say he was very well received. Fellow comedian and friend, Tina Fey, explains it like this.
“He was in better shape than the first time he did it – in 2009, the year before he had a diabetes-related kidney transplant. He’s like the Bionic Man now – better than he was before.”
Tracy Morgan now preforms in front of some of the biggest audiences of his career. He’s thankful for the time he spends with his wife and children.
In May of 2015, he finally reached an undisclosed settlement with Walmart, which took sole responsibility for the accident. Things are certainly looking up for Tracy Morgan, the man who never gave up on being funny.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]