News

Trucker in Tracy Morgan crash was speeding

Trucker in Tracy Morgan crash was speeding

FATAL CRASH:Truck driver Kevin Roper looks on next to defense attorney David Glassman (L) during his hearing at a courthouse in New Jersey. Roper, 35, pleaded not guilty last week to multiple charges. Photo: Reuters

By Curtis Skinner

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The truck driver accused of causing a fatal car crash on a New Jersey highway that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan was driving 65 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone, federal investigators said on Thursday.

Data recovered from the truck driven by Walmart Stores Inc. delivery driver Kevin Roper, showed the tractor trailer was traveling at a speed of 65 mph in the minute leading up to the fatal crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report.

About half a mile from the crash site, speed limit signs instructed drivers to reduce speed from 55 mph to 45 mph due to construction work ahead.

The report, which said the NTSB investigation is ongoing, also noted that the 35-year-old trucker from Georgia had logged over 9-1/2 hours of driving time by the time the crash occurred and had been on duty for 13-1/2 hours. Federal rules limit commercial drivers to logging a maximum of 14 hours at a stretch.

Last week, Roper pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of death by auto and injury by auto while operating his tractor trailer. Prosecutors said he had not slept “in excess of 24 hours.”

Roper, who is free on $50,000 bail, stands accused of failing to see traffic slowing in front of him on the New Jersey Turnpike and slamming into the back of the limousine van, which was carrying Morgan, who is best known for roles on the TV shows “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live,” and several of his associates.

The chain reaction crash early on June 7 involved a total of six vehicles, and killed a passenger in the limo van, comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair.

Morgan remains hospitalized and on Monday his condition was upgraded to fair from critical.

Walmart has promised to cooperate in the state and federal investigation into the crash and said its drivers are among the safest on the road.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Eric Beech)

Latest Stories

in Local, Surrounding Counties

Fluvanna Drops Lawsuit Over High School Bonds

Fresh
gavel

Fluvanna County has decided not to pursue a lawsuit against Davenport & Company regarding refinancing of debt with the high school project.

in Entertainment

Catherine Zeta-Jones to play drug kingpin in new biopic

Fresh
zetajones

The actress will play Griselda Blanco, the first and only woman to rise to the high ranks of Colombia's Medellin drug cartel.

in Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Local, Surrounding Counties, UVA

Delay In Traffic Offense Hearing For Jesse Matthew

Fresh
This undated image provided by the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office shows a booking photo of Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. Matthew Jr. was arrested on a beach in the Texas community of Gilchrist by Galveston County Sheriff's authorities, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo announced Wednesday night Sept. 24, 2014. He is charged with abducting a missing University of Virginia sophomore and is awaiting extradition.

The court hearing on two reckless driving charges against Jesse Matthew has been pushed back to December.

in Sports

Panthers’ Alexander banned 10 games for doping

alexander

DE Frank Alexander, who missed the first four games of this season due to a previous violation of the policy, won't return until mid-December.

in Sports

Giants sink Pirates in NL Wild Card playoff

giants1

A four-hit shutout by Madison Bumgarner and a grand slam by Brandon Crawford carried the Giants to an 8-0 win.