Truck Driver in Tracy Morgan Crash Pleads Guilty
The truck driver who slammed into the back of a van carrying actor-comedian Tracy Morgan and several other people, killing one, has pleaded guilty and could avoid jail.
Kevin Roper entered the plea Tuesday in New Brunswick to charges of vehicular homicide and four counts of aggravated assault.
Roper was driving a Wal-Mart truck in June 2014 when he crashed into Morgan’s van on the New Jersey Turnpike as the actor and several friends traveled to a stand-up show.
Comedian James McNair died, and Morgan and three other passengers were injured in the accident. Morgan suffered a broken leg, broken ribs and head injuries.
The 37-year-old Roper, of Jonesboro, Georgia, faced counts including aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide and aggravated assault. According to reports, he hadn’t slept “in excess of 24 hours” when he crashed into Morgan’s limo bus.
Under terms of his plea, Roper can avoid prison if he performs community service and satisfies other conditions over the next three years.
In May 2015, Morgan settled with Wal-Mart for an undisclosed amount, but said the company “did right by me and my family, and for my associates and their families.”
After suffering a traumatic brain injury, many wondered if Morgan would ever return to performing. Since the accident he’s made several high-profile appearances, including hosting Saturday Night Live and appearing at the Emmy Awards. Next year, Morgan will star in the upcoming film Fist Fight alongside Ice Cube.