A New Jersey grand jury has indicted the Walmart truck driver involved in the accident that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan last year, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s announced Wednesday.
The driver, Kevin Roper, was charged in a 10-count indictment with several offenses, including aggravated manslaughter and vehicular homicide.
Roper, from Georgia, was allegedly driving north on the New Jersey Turnpike about 1 a.m. on June 7, 2014, when he slammed into the limo carrying Morgan, 47, and five others, including the 62-year-old comedian James McNair, who was killed, authorities said.
Morgan and another passenger were airlifted to an area hospital. The former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” star was in critical condition and has gone through a lengthy rehabilitation. He recovered enough to host SNL in October.
Before the crash, Roper had apparently been awake for 28 hours and was driving 20 miles over the speed limit — about 65 miles per hour in a work zone — according to a National Transportation Safety Board report in August.
The day before the chain-reaction crash, which involved six vehicles, Roper apparently made an 800-mile overnight drive from Georgia to Delaware.
The NTSB also found that the “serious injuries to the occupants seated in the passenger compartment of the limo van were due in part to their failure to use available seat belts and properly adjusted head restraint.”
Morgan and some of the others who were injured reached a settlement with Wal-Mart in May.
Roper’s attorney, David Jay Glassman, told Reuters in an emailed statement that he would cite the civil settlement, the NTSB findings and pre-trial publicity as reasons to have the indictment dismissed.