The driver in a deadly New Jersey truck accident that injured comedian Tracy Morgan was awake for more than 24 hours, reporters say. The weekend accident claimed the life of one man and left Morgan in critical condition. Police believe that the driver was working outside of the Federal Hours of Service Operation, and the 35 year old driver now faces criminal charges for vehicular homicide.
A spokesperson for Walmart, the owner of the truck, said that they would assume responsibility for the incident, if necessary. "…We are profoundly sorry that one of our trucks was involved," said the spokesperson, "If it's determined that our truck caused the accident, Walmart will take full responsibility."
Walmart isn't ready to admit that the driver was violating regulations, though. The Walmart spokesperson stated, "It is our belief that Mr. Roper was operating within the federal hours of service regulations."
According to federal regulations, commercial drivers are limited to 11 hours of driving within a 14-hour period of time, followed by at least 10 hours of rest.
The accident occurred early Saturday morning, at approximately 1:00 am, news sources report. The Walmart truck collided with a limo bus carrying Morgan and another passenger, James McNair. McNair was also a comedian and performed under the alias "Jimmy Mack."
Reports indicated that the truck slammed into the rear of the limo bus. The accident involved four other cars, but none of the other drivers suffered injuries. The limo driver recalled the incident, "All I know is I saw traffic ... and I stopped ... and I was upside down and in the vehicle," he said.
Tired driving is a form of impairment. Like drunk driving and texting behind the wheel, tired driving increases the probability of a serious accident. According to federal regulations, it is dangerous to operate a motor vehicle for an extended amount of time. If a tired driver causes a serious accident, he / she could be held accountable for any ensuing injuries, fatalities, and property damage. Learn more about truck accident liability here.
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