It’s been more than two years since the tragic truck crash that injured comedian Tracy Morgan and several others and killed Morgan’s good friend James McNair. Now the driver of the Walmart truck driver who caused the accident has pled guilty in New Jersey state Superior Court, bringing the case to a close.
Kevin Roper entered a guilty plea to charges of vehicular homicide and four counts of aggravated assault after driving his Walmart Truck into the limousine van that was carrying Morgan and his colleagues home after a comedy show. An investigation into the accident was conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board, and it was determined that Roper had been driving his truck without sleep: at the time of the accident he had gone 28 hours without sleeping, and as a result he was unable to properly focus on the road. The report indicated that despite the fact that there were warning signs posted on Interstate 95 indicating that construction work was in progress, he failed to slow down and ended up crashing into the back of the limousine at a rate of 65 miles per hour. Morgan was severely injured, and suffered broken bones and head injuries.
The case drew national attention and focused a spotlight on the issue of truck driver fatigue and the many truck crash accidents that it causes. Walmart settled a personal injury lawsuit filed by Morgan and a wrongful death lawsuit filed by McNair’s children separately in 2015. Because the driver has no prior criminal record he will be able to avoid having to serve jail time or having a criminal record by performing community service as well as meeting other court-imposed requirements. His defense attorney said, “He is grateful for the opportunity to accept responsibility and move forward in doing what is required to obtain a dismissal of the charges pending against him.”
There are many reasons why truck crash accidents occur, and driver fatigue and distraction are two of the most common. The sheer size and power of tractor trailer trucks means that drivers and the companies that employ them have a heightened responsibility for careful and attentive operation, and when they fail in that duty they can be held legally responsible for the damage that they cause. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck crash accident, contact Danziger & De Llano Truck Crash Law Group today at 1-800-411-7411–www.truckcrashlawgroup.com