Newark, N.J. — 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 mph shortly before the crash, in an area where the speed limit had been lowered from 55 mph to 45 mph 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 $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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