One person is dead and comedian Tracy Morgan is in an Intensive Care Unit in critical condition in New Jersey following a six-car pile-up on the New Jersey Turnpike early Saturday morning. Two others are also in critical condition after a tractor trailor slammed into the "30 Rock" star's limousine bus.
CNN reported June 7 that 35-year-old Kevin Roper of Jonesboro, Ga., was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto after he appears to have come up on slow moving traffic too fast and slammed into Morgan's limo at speed, according to a Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office statement.
"NJSP says the driver of the tractor-trailer failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead," Sgt. Gregory Williams of New Jersey State Police said. "At the last minute, he swerved to try and avoid the Mercedes limo bus but struck it from behind, forcing the limo to rotate and overturn."
Killed in the accident was James McNair, a 63-year-old comedian and friend of Morgan's who went by the stage name of Jimmy Mack.
All of the injured parties -- five people -- were traveling in the Morgan limousine, which was supplied by Dover Down Casino in Dover, Del., where Tracy Morgan had performed stand-up just hours before the crash, according to NBC Philadelphia.
Although prior reports stated six or seven people were injured, the Procescutor's Office's statement only mentioned five. There were also reports that the tractor trailor driver had fallen asleep at the wheel.
Investigators say that they have found no evidence that Kevin Roper fell asleep while driving. The wreck occurred about 1 a.m. on the New Jersey Turnpike in Mercer County roughly 15 miles north of Trenton. Six cars were involved -- two tractor trailors, two cars, an SUV, and Tracy Morgan's limo bus.
According to the authorities, Roper slammed into the Mercedes limousine, causing it to spin and flip over, landing on its side on the road as it gathered up other vehicles in the chain reaction.
Tracy Morgan's family are at the former "Saturday Night Live" star's bedside at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. His publicist noted that Morgan's condition, though critical, had stabilized and was not expected to change for at least a few hours.
Ardie Fuqua Jr. and Jeffrey Millea are also at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, listed in critical condition.
Harris Stanton was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released.
Tracy Morgan rose to national fame while a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" for seven years (starting in 1996), his impersonations of such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Mike Tyson, and the Reverend Al Sharpton garnering him acclaim. During his time on "SNL," he starred in his own eponymously titled show for 18 episodes on NBC Television. He then earned an Emmy nominaton for his role as Tracy Jordan on "30 Rock," created by fellow "SNL" alumnus Tina Fey. The talented comedian has appeared in nearly 30 movies over the years, according to the Internet Movie Database, his latest theatrical credit a reprised role as the voice of Luiz in the animated feature "Rio 2."