The tragic auto accident that severely injured Tracy Morgan and killed fellow comedian James McNair is finally in the courts. Former Wal-Mart driver Kevin Roper faces charges of aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide and aggravated assault for the accident that occurred in June 2014.
Since the accident, the Wal-Mart Corporation has paid an undisclosed amount to Morgan based on the fact that Roper had not slept for 28 hours while making deliveries for the company.
Roper pleaded not guilty to the charges and his lawyers are attempting to have the charges dismissed for their client.
The driver is facing substantial jail time that includes 10-30 years for aggravated murder and 5-10 years for the death by auto charge. In addition, each of the assault by auto charges is punishable by up to 180 months in prison.
A report by the National Transportation Safety Board noted Roper’s lack of sleep and the fact that he failed to heed traffic signs and slow down on the night of the accident. Roper’s truck slammed into the limo-bus that Morgan was riding in, causing it to flip and set off a train reaction accident that also injured three other people. In addition, the NTSB stated that Morgan and the passengers on the limo-bus failed to use seatbelts and this contributed to the severity of their injuries.
Morgan suffered brain trauma, broken ribs, a broken leg and was in a coma for several weeks. After months of extensive physical therapy he is now able to walk with assistance and has made an appearance on “Saturday Night Live” as well as co-starred in the movie First Fight with Ice Cube and Charlie Day.
The trial for Roper is set to begin in April 2016.