The comedian Tracy Morgan, who suffered serious injuries in a wreck with an allegedly dozing tractor trailer driver earlier this year, may never be able to perform again, according to his lawyer this week.
The 45 year-old suffered serious injuries to his brain, ribs, and legs. He still is being treated for his brain injuries which affect his speech and cognitive abilities.
An alleged overworked Walmart truck driver slammed into Morgan’s limousine on the New Jersey turnpike in June, which killed fellow comedian James McNair and seriously injured Morgan.
His lawyer added this week that his doctors cannot say for sure when or if Morgan will fully recover and if he will be able to continue his comedy routines.
Morgan and several others people in the limousine are suing Walmart. The company responded to the suit, claiming that the fault of the accident lies with the comedian and his friends. The company stated in court that the injuries to the passengers in the limo were due to their not wearing seatbelts, which the firm claims constitutes unreasonable conduct.
Walmart claims that if they had worn seatbelts, many of the injuries would not have occurred.
Walmart has not responded yet to reports that the driver of the tractor trailer – Kevin Roper – had not slept in more than a day before the wreck.
Immediately after the tragedy, Roper was charged by the highway patrol for causing the wreck. The police believed that the driver dozed off and did not see stopped traffic in front of him. The state police added that the driver did not observe the stopped traffic, and by the time he saw it, it was far too late.
In our many years of experience as Virginia truck accident attorneys, we have observed that 13% of tractor trailer crashes are caused by truck driver fatigue. Drivers often doze off behind the wheel and do not respond quickly to events because they have simply worked too many hours in a row.
And it is not simply the drivers themselves pushing the limits: Often truck accidents are indirectly caused by the shippers. The companies want product delivered as quickly as possible to maximize profits, and may pressure drivers to keep driving even when tired.
We do not know for certain yet if the Morgan case was definitely caused by driver fatigue, but it is certainly a possibility. If so, this is a real tragedy that could easily have been avoided.