Tracy Morgan Crash Driver Indicted on Manslaughter and Assault Charges
The truck driver involved in the fatal traffic accident which left Tracy Morgan in a critical condition last year has been indicted on manslaughter and vehicular homicide charges. Kevin Roper was behind the wheel of his Wal-Mart truck in New Jersey in June 2014, when he collided with the 30 Rock star’s limousine, killing Morgan’s friend James ‘Jimmy Mack’ McNair.
The comedian, who fell into a coma, suffered head trauma and a broken leg and ribs, and subsequently spent five months in a wheelchair and underwent intensive physiotherapy to get him back on his feet. Roper’s attorney, David Glassman, headed to court on Tuesday to ask a judge to dismiss one criminal count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto, insisting his client would never be able to get a fair trial due to the negative publicity surrounding the accident, especially as Wal-Mart bosses settled a negligence lawsuit with Morgan earlier this year. Roper had previously attempted to delay the civil proceedings until after his criminal case was resolved. Glassman was unsuccessful in his motion for dismissal and on Wednesday, members of a grand jury indicted Roper on one charge of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, one second-degree count of vehicular homicide and eight counts of aggravated assault – two for each of those seriously injured during the crash. Roper was not in court for the indictment; he is due to be arraigned at a later date, while the case has been adjourned until January 6. The indictment emerges four months after National Transportation Safety Board investigators claimed Roper had been awake for 28 hours in the lead up to the accident, and had failed to slow down for construction work on the New Jersey Turnpike due to his lack of sleep. Morgan and his pals were also faulted for failing to wear their seat belts, which contributed to the severity of their injuries.