By this point, most people have heard about the devastating truck accident that severely injured New York City native Tracy Morgan. The comedian is best known for his work on “Saturday Night Live” and the sitcom “30 Rock.”
The truck accident occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike as Morgan and several others were riding in his limo bus. The incident – which proved deadly for one passenger – is a tragic reminder of just how dangerous drowsy driving can be.
According to news sources, the accident was caused by a 35-year-old truck driver who was operating an 18-wheeler for Wal-Mart. In the early morning hours last Saturday, the truck driver reportedly swerved to avoid crashing into slowing traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike. In doing so, he struck Morgan’s limo bus and caused a six-car pileup.
Tracy Morgan and two others in the vehicle with him suffered critical injures. A fourth passenger, fellow comedian James McNair, was killed in the crash.
The truck driver now faces criminal charges due to the circumstances surrounding the accident. Police say the man had not slept in more than 24 hours at the time of the crash. Studies have shown that a person driving on so little sleep may be as impaired as a drunk driver.
Thankfully, Morgan is showing signs of improvement, according to his spokesman. The 45-year-old remains hospitalized with a broken leg and several broken ribs, among other injuries.
Although the full details of the accident and its aftermath will take some time to sort, out one thing is clear: This was a crash that did not have to happen and should have been prevented. Every driver has the responsibility to stay awake and alert behind the wheel. That responsibility is even greater when driving a vehicle weighing upwards of 80,000 pounds.
The dangers of drowsy driving are very real. Until or unless the trucking industry maintains better compliance with hours-of-service regulations (and basic common-sense safety measures), accidents like this will continue to happen.
Source: My Fox NY, "Tracy Morgan showing signs of improvement after crash," June 12, 2014