by CAROLINE GAVURA Section Editor
Tracy Morgan remains in critical, but stable, condition after his van got into a deadly accident with a Walmart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike on June 7.
The accident happened around 1 am in a northbound lane at mile post 7a near Cranbury Township, New Jersey. The van, carrying Morgan and six other people, was stuck behind by a tractor-trailer and then overturned.
Forty-five-year-old Morgan and a friend, 37-year-old Jeffery Millea, were airlifted to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey where they remain in an Intensive Care Unit. Morgan suffered injuries including a broken femur, nose and ribs.
Rumors were swirling about the fact that Morgan may even have to have his leg amputated, but were cleared up by his publicist.
“Tracy remains in critical, but stable condition. His fiancé Megan is by his side. The concern for his well-being has been overwhelming, but Megan is respectfully asking that the media await official news through these channels before speculating (mostly inaccurately) on his condition. Rumors about amputating his leg are completely fabricated. As we shared yesterday, Tracy had surgery on his broken leg. We are working closely with the incredible staff at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital to share information when it is available,” said the statement.
Another passenger of the van, 63-year-old James McNair, was killed. He was also a comedian and was traveling with Morgan to Connecticut to perform.
The driver of the truck, Kevin Roper from Georgia, was charged that morning with causing the accident by falling asleep at the wheel. A police investigation found that he failed to slow down for traffic ahead of him and swerved to avoid an accident. He then slammed into Morgan’s van and caused a crash.
The van is so mutilated it is astonishing that only one person passed away, and the pictures send chills down the spine of anyone who looks at them.
“It is so sad someone had to die because of another person’s carelessness. Falling asleep at the wheel is a common problem with truck drivers because they have long shifts into early hours of the morning. Something needs to be done to prevent accidents like this from happening so innocent people do not get hurt,” said junior Cori Haider.
During his hearing on June 10, Roper pleaded not guilty to one count of vehicular homicide and several counts of assault by automobile. The police stated that Roper had not slept for over 24 hours after the accident, and he sat silent at his arraignment.
The accident has prompted the attention of the National Transportation Safety Board and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen who called for self-driving cars. The NTSB sent investigators to New Jersey to study the safety of commercial truck operators in response to the rise of fatal truck accidents.
“Self-driving cars would help with a lot of the issues that truck drivers have when they are working their shifts. Hopefully technological advances in the future will help make them a reality,” said junior Kirsten Pasewaldt.
Do you think self-driving cars are a good idea?