By now, many people in Pennsylvania and all around the country have heard about the accident involving comedian and actor Tracy Morgan over the weekend in New Jersey. According to police, a tractor-trailer rear-ended the luxury bus carrying Morgan and some fellow comedians back from a performance at a Delaware casino. One man was killed and Morgan was hospitalized in critical condition. His publicist says Morgan will likely be in the hospital for weeks in order to recover from his injuries — including severe leg injuries, broken ribs and a broken nose.
The driver of the truck, a 35-year-old from Georgia, has now been charged in the fatal crash. According to court papers, the driver hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours. According to federal regulations, truck drivers can drive no more than 11 hours in a 14-hour work period. These restrictions are in place, among other reasons, to try to curb drowsy driving accidents among truckers.
According to federal authorities, 13 percent of fatal accidents involving tractor-trailers involve drivers who don’t get the required amount of rest. It isn’t clear if the truck driver in this incident actually fell asleep at the wheel; however, according to reports, he failed to slow down for traffic ahead of him and slammed into the bus that was carrying the performers.
The driver was charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto. Walmart, whose truck the man was driving, said that it would take full responsibility if it is shown that their truck driver caused the crash.
Source: CBS New York, “Court Papers: Truck Driver Charged In Tracy Morgan Crash Hadn’t Slept In Over 24 Hours,” June 9, 2014