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Wal-Mart Truck Driver Charged in Tractor-Trailer Crash that Critically injured Actor Tracy Morgan May Have Been Drowsy Driving

According to authorities, Kevin Roper, the Wal-Mart truck driver behind the wheel of the big rig that slammed into a limo bus carrying comic Tracy Morgan, another tractor-trailer, two cars, and an SUV hadn’t slept for 24 hours when the fatal multi-vehicle collision on the New Jersey Turnpike happened on Saturday. All of the injury victims from the semi-truck crash were passengers in Morgan’s limo.

The actor was critically injured, sustaining multiple broken bones. His mentor, James McNair was killed. Two other limo passengers, comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr. and Jeffrey Millea, also sustained critical injuries. Comic Harris Stanton was treated at a hospital and later released.

Roper is charged with multiple counts of assault by auto, as well as death by auto. The criminal complaint against the 35-year-old trucker accuses him of committing vehicular homicide without having slept for more than a day. Police say that he failed to observe that the traffic ahead of him was moving slowly. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the tragic traffic wreck.

Drowsy Driving and Truck Drivers
There are regulations in place to make sure that drivers get enough rest in between their shifts. Many truckers can be on the road for hours. If they don’t get enough rest it can be easy for them to lose focus or even dose off while driving.

Currently, there is a policy debate going on over at Capital Hill over whether to weaken a federal regulation that mandates truck driver rest. Just recently, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to suspend a requirement that truckers rest for at least 34 hours before starting their rest week. The new rules, which went into effect last summer, also limited truck drivers’ maximum average work week to 70 hours, down from 82 hours maximum. Truck drivers are also now required to break for 30 minutes during the first eight hours of a shift.

In Massachusetts, our Boston truck accident lawyers represent victims and their families. Truck crash cases can be tough to prove, and many trucking companies and large companies that own or lease these trucks have strong legal representation to defend themselves against liability. You want to work with your own experienced legal representation that will fight for you and your financial recovery.

Truck-driving safeguards come into sharper focus
, MSNBC, June 9, 2014
Police: Driver charged in Tracy Morgan crash was awake 24 hours, CNN, June 9, 2014

Trucker in Tracy Morgan Crash Accused of Not Sleeping for 24Hours, ABC News, June 9, 2014

More Blog Posts:
10 People Killed in Truck-Bush Crash Involving FedEx Vehicle, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, April 11, 2014

Widow’s Drug Defect Lawsuit Claims Generic Paxil Prompted Her Husband’s Suicide
, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, June 9, 2014

The Staggering Toll of Car Crashes
, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 31, 2014