A criminal complaint claims that Wal-Mart trucker Kevin Roper, the man accused of causing the fatal crash that killed comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair and injured several others including Tracy Morgan, had not slept for 24 hours before the accident, police told the Associated Press.
According to the police report viewed by AP, Roper was driving a large Wal-Mart truck and failed to slow for traffic ahead of him early Saturday morning in Cranbury Township, N.J., and in an attempt to avoid an accident he swerved and crashed into Morgan’s limo bus.
Lewis Kay, Morgan’s spokesman told AP that the former Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock cast member faces an “arduous” road to recovery after having surgery on a broken leg. AP notes that Morgan also suffered a “broken femur, a broken nose and several broken ribs and is expected to remain hospitalized for weeks.”
As of Monday, Morgan remained in critical but stable condition.
According to AP, “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.” As such, Roper is facing one charge of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.
AP notes that Roper is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday and has been free since posting $50,000 bond.
According to the criminal complaint viewed by AP, Roper operated the truck “without having slept for a period in excess of 24 hours resulting in a motor vehicle accident.” There is no explanation as to how it was determined that Roper went without sleep.
AP notes that a company spokeswoman said that Roper’s truck had equipment that could not only alert him to traffic ahead but could slow the truck’s speed to prevent accidents. It was unclear whether the system was working at the time of the accident.
According to the Daily Mail, a Twitter account being linked to Roper allegedly tweeted before the accident, “Trying to win more than lose! Driving trucks for a living it’s my road move or get hit! #Walmart”.