Driver also charged with four counts of assault by auto
A Georgia truck driver has been charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto in the traffic accident that critically injured Tracy Morgan and killed another man.
Morgan and three other passengers were hospitalized in the six-vehicle New Jersey crash that killed 63-year-old James McNair. Their luxury van flipped over, and Morgan and another passenger were helicoptered to a hospital.
Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Col. Joseph R. Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, announced the charges against Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Ga. The tractor-trailer he was driving crashed into the luxury vehicle at 1 a.m. Saturday as Morgan and the other passengers traveled from a performance at a Delaware casino.
Roper was expected to surrender to authorities, and bail was set at $50,000.
Morgan, 45, an unidentified 36-year-old man from Shelton, Ct., and a 43-year-old man from Jersey City, remain in critical condition, authorities said. They identified one of the men as Jeffrey Millea without giving his city or age. The fourth passenger who was hospitalized has been treated and released.
Though police did not give their names, Morgan's fellow “Saturday Night Live” alum, Dean Edwards, tweeted that Morgan's opener, Ardie Fuqua, and Millea were still hospitalized, and that another comedian, Harris Stanton, had been released. That would indicate that Fuqua, who is from Jersey City, is the 43-year-old, and that Millea is the Connecticut man who was airlifted along with Morgan.
Fuqua tweeted a picture of himself about to get in the luxury van soon before the accident. He said it was destined for New York City. “Road life is a good life!” he tweeted.
A preliminary investigation determined that the tractor-trailer crashed into the van, a 2012 Mercedes Sprinter, as both vehicles traveled in the northbound lanes of the New Jersey Turnpike.
Four other vehicles were subsequently involved in the crash, and none of the occupants of those vehicles were injured.
Authorities said their preliminary investigation did not indicate drugs or alcohol were involved.