A grand jury in New Jersey has indicted a Wal-Mart truck driver who crashed into a limousine carrying comedian Tracy Morgan, severely injuring the comedian and killing another man.
According to a WABC news report, the driver Kevin Roper is facing several criminal charges including aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide and aggravated assault.
Roper was driving a Wal-Mart truck in June 2014 when he rammed into Morgan’s limo van from behind killing comedian James McNair and leaving Morgan with traumatic brain injuries.
Morgan settled with Wal-Mart this summer for an undisclosed amount.
Findings of an Investigation
An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded in August that Roper hadn’t slept during the previous 28 hours before the crash, a finding that Roper’s attorney had disputed.
The report also concluded Roper failed to slow down immediately before the crash, despite posted warning signs on the New Jersey Turnpike in Cranbury.
The board also said Morgan and other passengers in the limo van were at fault for not wearing seat belts and adjusting headrests, which it said contributed to the severity of their injuries when the limo was struck from behind.
Common Truck Accident Causes
This case is an example of rear-end crashes involving large trucks that cause devastating injuries and fatalities. Some of the common causes of such accidents include:
Fatigued driver: When the truck driver has not had sufficient rest or breaks, he poses a significant danger to others on the roadway. A number of rear-end truck accidents are caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel because they are exhausted.
Unsafe speed: We often see truck accidents happen because drivers fail to operate at a safe speed. This not only means sticking to posted speed limits, but failing to maintain the right speed, given traffic, weather and roadway conditions.
Impairment: Without question, inebriated truck drivers pose significant dangers to the traveling public.
Distracted drivers: When truck drivers fail to keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and their attention on the task of driving, the consequences can be devastating.
Vehicle malfunction: This often occurs with poorly maintained big rigs where the brakes or tires fail and cause a catastrophic accident.
Compensation for Victims
Injured victims of truck accidents can seek compensation from truck drivers and their employers for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
A knowledgeable truck accident attorney will take steps to preserve key pieces of evidence such as the vehicle, driver logs, vehicle maintenance logs and cell phone records to prove your case and help you secure the compensation you need and rightfully deserve.