The big rig driver who triggered a six-vehicle crash that killed one man and left Tracy Morgan and two others critically injured is expected to appear in court Monday to face charges, officials said.
Middlesex County prosecutors charged 35-year-old Kevin Roper of Jonesboro, Georgia with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto after the early morning Saturday accident, according to the Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and New Jersey State Police Superintendant Col. Joseph Fuentes.
Roper, accompanied by his attorney, turned himself in on Saturday to state police and was transported to the Middlesex County Jail, according to New Jersey State Police. He was released on $50,000 bail Saturday night, Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar said Sunday.
He is expected to appear in a New Jersey courtroom Monday, according to prosecutors.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigators on Sunday were working with state police to look at any issues in the crash related to commercial trucking and limousine safety, according to The Associated Press.
Roper was driving a Walmart tractor-trailer northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike near Exit 7A in Cranbury, N.J. -- about 15 miles north of Trenton -- around 1 a.m. Saturday when he failed to notice slow moving traffic and slammed into a limo bus, which had Morgan, stand-up comedians Ardie Fuqua Jr., Harris Stanton and 62-year-old James McNair, and three others on board, according to officials.
The limo bus, a Mercedes Sprinter, began rotating clockwise, then overturned on its left side and crashed into several other vehicles, according to New Jersey State Police.
"The driver of the tractor-trailer ...failed to observe the slow moving traffic ahead of him," said New Jersey State Police Sgt. First Class Gregory Williams. "The driver did observe the traffic, but it was too late. It was just prior to impact, he swerved to the left in an attempt to avoid the collision. But he was unable to."
McNair, of Peekskill, New York, was killed in the crash, according to police.
Morgan, 45, and 36-year-old Jeffrey Millea, of Shelton, Conn., were airlifted to a hospital, where they remain in critical condition, according to officials.
Fuqua is also in critical condition, while Stanton was treated and released, according to reports.
Forty-four-year-old Tyrone Gail and another unidentified limo driver suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to limo operator Atlantic Transportation Services.