NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — The truck driver charged in the fatal crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that also injured comedian Tracy Morgan and several other people was scheduled to make an initial court appearance Wednesday.
Kevin Roper was to appear in state Superior Court to face death by auto and assault by auto charges. Roper was driving a Wal-Mart truck early Saturday when he allegedly swerved to avoid slowed traffic on the turnpike and plowed into Morgan’s limo.
A criminal complaint alleges that the 35-year-old Roper, of Jonesboro, Georgia, hadn’t slept for more than 24 hours before the accident. Wal-Mart has said it believes he was in compliance with federal safety regulations.
A conviction on a death by auto charge carries a five-to-10-year prison sentence. Each assault by auto charge is punishable by up to 18 months in prison.
The 45-year-old Morgan suffered a broken femur, a broken nose and several broken ribs. His friend and fellow comedian James McNair was killed, and two other passengers were seriously injured. Another passenger was treated and released from the hospital Saturday, and the limo driver and one more passenger weren’t injured.
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