Board to hold hear­ing on Tracy Mor­gan crash

The China Post - - ARTS - BY DAVID PORTER

Fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tors will meet next week to de­ter­mine the prob­a­ble cause of the ac­ci­dent that in­jured ac­tor-co­me­dian Tracy Mor­gan and killed one of his friends.

The Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board sched­uled a meet­ing for Tues­day morn­ing in Washington, D.C.

A Wal-Mart truck slammed into the back of a limo van car­ry­ing the for­mer “Satur­day Night Live” and “30 Rock” star and the oth­ers back from a show in Delaware last June. Co­me­dian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair was killed, and Mor­gan suf­fered head trauma, a bro­ken leg and bro­ken ribs. Three other pas­sen­gers suf­fered se­ri­ous in­juries and two had mi­nor in­juries, ac­cord­ing to the NTSB.

A pre­lim­i­nary NTSB re­port re­leased two weeks af­ter the ac­ci­dent found truck driver Kevin Roper was driv­ing 65 miles per hour shortly be­fore the crash, in an area where the speed limit had been low­ered from 55 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour that night be­cause of con­struc­tion on that stretch of the New Jersey Turn­pike.

Roper was charged with death by auto and four counts of as­sault by auto in state court in New Jersey. The crim­i­nal com­plaint al­leged Roper op­er­ated the truck “with­out hav­ing slept for a pe­riod in ex­cess of 24 hours re­sult­ing in a mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent.” Un­der New Jersey law, a per­son can be charged with as­sault by auto if he or she causes in­jury af­ter know­ingly op­er­at­ing a ve­hi­cle af­ter be­ing awake for more than 24 hours.

Mor­gan and two friends in­jured in the crash set­tled a law­suit against Wal-Mart in May for an undis­closed amount. The Bentonville, Arkansas- based com­pany set­tled a wrong­ful death claim filed by McNair’s chil­dren for US$10 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to court pa­pers.

Mor­gan hasn’t per­formed since the ac­ci­dent. Us­ing a cane, he made his first public ap­pear­ance this June on NBC’s “To­day” show and said he hoped to re­turn but that he wasn’t 100 per­cent healed.

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