Morgan, who gained fame as a member of the "Saturday Night
Live" ensemble before co-starring on the hit NBC television
comedy "30 Rock," was injured when a tractor-trailer rear-ended
the limousine bus he was riding in early on Saturday with four
Fellow comedian James McNair was killed in the wreck. Two other
comics - Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton - were also in hospital
with severe injuries, while a fifth passenger, Morgan's
assistant, Jeff Millea, was treated for minor injuries and
released, police and hospital officials said.
The group was returning from a performance in Delaware at around
1 a.m. when the big rig slammed into the back of their
chauffeured Mercedes bus near Cranbury Township, New Jersey,
flipping it over.
The impact caused a chain-reaction crash involving a second
truck, a sport utility vehicle and two other cars, said New
Jersey State Police spokesman Gregory Williams.
McNair, 62, known by his stage name Jimmy Mack, of Peekskill,
New York, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to New
Jersey State Police. Nobody but the four other passengers from
the limo bus were taken to the hospital, authorities said.
Morgan's spokesman, Lewis Kay, said the 45-year-old performer
suffered several injuries, including a broken leg, a broken nose
and several broken ribs and had undergone surgery on his injured
"While Tracy remains in critical condition, he has been more
responsive today, which is an incredibly encouraging sign," Kay,
said in a statement. "We expect him to remain in the hospital
for several weeks. His family is tremendously overwhelmed and
appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from his
DRIVER CHARGED Williams said the tractor-trailer rammed into the
rear of the limo bus after the truck driver failed to realize in
time that the traffic in front of him was slowing down.
The truck driver, Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Georgia, turned
himself in to authorities and was charged with death by auto and
four counts of assault by auto, a Middlesex County Corrections
official said. He was released from jail on Sunday after posting
$50,000 bail, the official said. He is expected to face
arraignment in New Jersey early this week.
[to top of second column]
The limo driver, Tyrone Gale, said on Facebook there was nothing he
could do to prevent the crash. "I can only say feeling helpless on
the highway was very hard to take," he wrote. "There was nothing I
could do but scream at times."
Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Saturday one of its trucks was the
tractor-trailer involved in the collision, which is under
investigation by police and the National Transportation Safety
"We are working quickly to understand what happened and are
cooperating fully with law enforcement to aid their investigation,"
said Bill Simon, chief executive of Walmart U.S.
Morgan, a native New Yorker known for his comedic commentary on
racial stereotypes, left the "Saturday Night Live" cast in 2003
after seven years on the show and went on to play a parodied version
of himself as the character named Tracy Jordan on "30 Rock" for
He earned an Emmy nomination as outstanding supporting actor for his
role on the show, which starred Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, in 2009,
the same year his book, "I Am the New Black," was published.
Morgan has three sons by his previous wife, Sabina Morgan, and is
engaged to Megan Wollover, with whom he had a daughter in 2013.
Sabina Morgan told the New York Daily News she and Morgan's sons
were shaken by the accident.
"It's like I'm in a nightmare," she said.
Word of the crash prompted an outpouring of sentiment on social
"Get better fast ... You have most positive thoughts," tweeted actor
and director Henry Winkler.
(Additional reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in New York; Editing by
Steve Gorman and Clarence Fernandez)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.