The truck driver responsible for the Tracy Morgan crash was speeding, according to investigation findings. He was also close to the limits for being behind the wheel set by federal law, suggesting that he was speeding to reach his final destination. The crash took place on June 7, seriously injuring the comedian and killing one passenger.
Reports instantly came out that the driver of the truck was sleepy, and failed to realize that the traffic ahead of him had slowed down. He then crashed into the back of Morgan’s limo, and it ended with a six-car crash. There were seven passengers in the limo at the time, and two others were injured not including the 30 Rock star and his friend, James McNair, who died.
According to reports, the truck driver Kevin Roper swerved to avoid hitting another car in front of him. That led to hitting the limo instead. Allegations include that the driver had not slept in more than 24 hours, and he was too tired to be on the road. The incident has raised serious questions over the limits on drivers, and other laws surrounding truckers.
The current federal law states that truck drivers can only spend a maximum of 11 hours driving and only work 14 hours a day. He had been working for 13 and a half hours when he crashed, and had to drive to Perth Amboy. Had he been driving at the speed limit, investigators agreed that he would have been pushing the full limit for working. As a driver for Wal-Mart, the company was asked for comment about the itinerary by the Boston Herald but they have so far declined.
So far, Roper has pleaded not guilty to death and assault by driving. However, he may have to face other charges for speeding, as that is now believed to be the reason for the truck driver crashing into Morgan’s limo. The investigation continues as police try to understand the situation.
Wal-Mart has indicated that the route given should not have breached federal law. It also states that it will take the responsibility should its driver be found guilty in court. The company may need to look into its routes to make them safer for other road users. Safety equipment is also needed. There is supposed to be a safety system onboard trucks to alert drivers of slowing traffic ahead, but Wal-Mart cannot confirm that it was working at the time of the collision.
The main issue is with the Senate, which is considering increasing the 60-70 hour week for drivers to 80 hours a week. After this crash it would suggest that this would be irresponsible. Roper was allegedly already pushing the current limit, and was too tired to realize the traffic in front of him was slowing down. Of course, arguably he may not have been speeding had it not been for getting close to the limit of his daily driving hours.
The SNL comedian is making a recovery in hospital, along with his two other friends injured. However, there is still a grieving family due to the crash. The investigation continues to see if the Morgan crash was due to a speeding truck driver and the limits on the hours.
By Alexandria Ingham