Negligent Truck Driver Responsible for Deadly New Jersey Crash

On Saturday, June 7, 2014, Wal-Mart truck driver Kevin Roper failed to slow his tractor-trailer in traffic, and struck a Mercedes limo-bus chauffeuring comedian Tracy Morgan to New York City. The incident happened on the New Jersey Turnpike when Roper attempted to swerve his truck away from the limo bus.

The tractor-trailer overturned Morgan’s limo bus, causing a chain-reaction vehicle crash with 4 other vehicles. Comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair was killed in the accident, and Ardie Fuqua, Harris Stanton, and Jeffrey Millea were among those injured in the accident. Tracy Morgan remains in critical condition after undergoing surgery to repair a broken nose, a broken femur, and several broken ribs.

Authorities report that the truck driver, Roper, hadn’t slept in over 24 hours prior to the fatal crash. He is currently being charged with several counts of assault by auto and one count of vehicular homicide for his negligence.

According to regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), truck drivers are permitted to work up to 14 hours per day, with a maximum of 11 hours spent behind the wheel. Federal regulations require truck drivers to have at least 10 hours between shifts to sleep.

While federal regulations strive to maintain the safety and security of everyone traveling on national roadways, vice president of the American Trucking Association Dave Osiecki said that the regulations cannot prevent a truck driver from making “bad choices.”

Just days prior to this incident, a Senate panel approved a proposal to roll back the rest regulations approved in July 2013. An amendment, proposed by Senator Susan Collins R-Maine, seeks to restore the 82-hour work week truck drivers enforced prior to last summer. Several truck safety advocate groups are opposing the amendment, and hoping that this fatal tractor-trailer crash will help to persuade Congress to reject the amendment.

The experienced trucking lawyers at Pope & Howard, P.C. understand the importance of federal safety regulations. We help families and individuals injured or killed due to truck driver negligence find justice and compensation for their loss.

Our team offers its deepest condolences to the family of James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, and our wishes for a hasty recovery to Tracy Morgan and others who were injured.

About Pope & Howard, P.C.

Pope & Howard, P.C. is a trial firm in Atlanta that helps victims of tractor-trailer accidents,industrial accidents, and other cases involving catastrophic personal injury or fatality. Contact our highly-experienced personal injury lawyers at (866) 910-0642 or (404) 885-9999 to find legal representation after a trucking accident.

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