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Tracy Morgan Continues Recovery From Turnpike Crash

Tracy Morgan remains in a New Brunswick hospital and faces a long recovery from a serious accident Saturday morning on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Mini van limo carrying Tracy Morgan and 6 others involved in a New Jersey Turnpike accident
Mini van limo carrying Tracy Morgan and 6 others involved in a New Jersey Turnpike accident (CBS New York)

Morgan’s spokesman Lewis Kay updated the comedian’s condition in a statement saying he had surgery for a broken leg and was “more responsive” today to doctors at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Kay says that Morgan also suffered a broken femur, broken nose and several broken ribs.

He said that Morgan’s family is “tremendously overwhelmed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from his fans.”

Earlier, hospital spokeswoman Zenaida Mendez said the three people transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital after Saturday’s Turnpike crash remained critical.

Morgan’s ex-wife Sabrina tells the New York Daily News the comedian “is not in good shape” and said he has a broken leg from the accident on the northbound side of the Turnpike around milepost 71 in Cranbury. 

She says the the couple’s three adult sons are “not holding up well” waiting for their father to regain consciousness.

Vicktoria, a woman who was traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike, tells People magazine she and her family witnessed the accident and were among the first to help those inside the limo bus. “Because the SUV was lying on the driver’s side, the passenger’s side was now facing up. The driver had gotten out and was standing on top of the passenger’s side. He and someone else, I think a passenger, were trying to get people out,” she told People.  “The passenger was trying to rip out the divider between the front seat and the back of the SUV. The windshield was broken. You could see blood everywhere. You could tell it was really bad.”

Tyrone Gail, one of the two drivers on the mini-limo that was rear-ended by a tractor trailer, told NBC 10  he found himself “face down on the asphalt” with glass shattering all around him. “It happened so fast,” he recalled. Gail told ABC news, “I climbed around and heard Tracy screaming for help. I climbed up on the body of the limo bus … but I couldn’t reach them.”

Wal-mart truck driver Kevin Roper of Jonesboro, Georgia surrendered to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Offfice on Saturday and was formally charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. Spokesman Jim O’Neill in an email says Roper was briefly held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick before posting $50,000 bail.Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar said Sunday Roper has been placed on administrative leave   Roper will be in court on Monday according to O’Neill.

Tractor trailer that State Police say rear ended a mini van limo on the New Jersey Turnpike carrying Tracy Morgan and 6 others.
Tractor trailer that State Police say rear ended a mini van limo on the New Jersey Turnpike carrying Tracy Morgan and 6 others.(CBS New York)

An investigative team from the National Transportation Safety Board was also scheduled to arrive on Saturday.

According to officials, Morgan and the group were traveling home from a comedy show in Delaware. About 1 a.m.  the tractor-trailer driver apparently failed to slow for traffic ahead and swerved at the last minute to avoid a crash, state police Sgt. 1st Class Greg Williams said. So far, there is nothing to suggest Roper fell asleep or was dozing, state police Williams told The Associated Press.

Instead, the big rig smashed into the back of the Mercedes limo bus, prompting a chain-reaction crash with a second tractor-trailer, an SUV and two cars.

James McNair, 62, of Peekskill, New York, who performed under the name Jimmy Mack, died when the limo overturned on the turnpike, Williams said. Morgan and Jeffrey Millea, 36, of Shelton, Connecticut, were flown from the accident scene to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, where they were in critical condition, hospital spokesman Peter Haigney said.

A fourth passenger, comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr., was also in critical condition, while a fifth passenger, comic Harris Stanton, was treated and released, according to Haigney. Two others in the limo were unhurt, including the driver.

Sabrina Morgan said that McNair was one of Morgan’s first mentors. “He was one of the first comedians that took Tracy under his wing,” she told the Daily News.. “They were very close.”

MORE COVERAGE:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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