Monday, July 14, 2014

Tracy Morgan Speaks For The First Time Since He Was Injured In Horrific Crash That Killed His Friend

Tracy Morgan Speaks For The First Time from on Vimeo.

Tracy Morgan smiled and thanked a crowd of reporters applauding him outside his New Jersey home
 He was initially moved to rehabilitation after being hospitalized with broken leg and broken ribs
 Morgan is suing Wal-Mart for negligence as one of their drivers was involved in auto accident on June 7
 His friend James McNair was killed in the crash
 Comedian Ardie Fuqua, of Jersey City, remains in critical condition
 Walmart driver Kevin Roper, 35, has been charged over the accident

Former '30 Rock' star Tracy Morgan has spoken for the first time since leaving a rehabilitation facility for serious injuries he suffered in a car crash that left a fellow comedian dead.

The 45-year-old flashed a grin and a peace sign to photographers as he left his Cresskill, New Jersey, home earlier this week in a black Lincoln Navigator.

The smiling comedian and actor told reporters gathered outside the property: 'I’m OK, I feel strong,' according to the New York Daily News 

'Love you, thank you very much. Appreciate it,' he told the crowd. The former 'Saturday Night Live' star was considerably thinner and sported a scar on his right temple. 

Injured: Both Morgan and fellow comedian Ardie Fuqua were seriously hurt in the collision, pictured in February 2013 at the Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek Florida
Tragic: Morgan's close pal James McNair died in the crash

Still, he appeared in much better spirits than in earlier pictures despite needing the aide of a walker to get to the SUV before setting out for the afternoon. His rehabilitation is expected to be long, but he at least will be able to continue on an 'aggressive outpatient program,' spokesperson Lewis Kay told MailOnline.

Morgan suffered a broken leg and broken ribs when the limousine van he was riding in was hit from behind June 7 by a Wal-Mart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Morgan is suing Wal-Mart over last month's highway crash that seriously injured him and killed a fellow comedian.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, claims Wal-Mart was negligent when a driver of one of its tractor-trailers rammed into Morgan's limousine bus.

The complaint claims the retail giant should have known that its driver had been awake for over 24 hours and that his commute of 700 miles from his home in Georgia to work in Delaware was 'unreasonable.'

It also alleges the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

'As a result of Wal-Mart's gross, reckless, willful, wanton, and intentional conduct, it should be appropriately punished with the imposition of punitive damages,' according to the complaint.

Morgan's lawsuit seeks a jury trial and punitive and compensatory damages.
In a statement issued Saturday, Wal-Mart reiterated that it was 'cooperating fully' in the ongoing investigation.

'We know it will take some time to resolve all of the remaining issues as a result of the accident, but we're committed to doing the right thing for all involved,' Wal-Mart said.

Not guilty plea: Kevin Roper (leaving court on June 11), a Wal-Mart truck driver from Georgia, was charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto on the New Jersey Turnpike on June 7

Truck driver Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Georgia, has pleaded not guilty to death by auto and assault by auto charges. A criminal complaint also accuses him of not sleeping for more than 24 hours before the crash, a violation of New Jersey law.

A report by federal transportation safety investigators said Roper was driving 65 mph in the 60 seconds before he slammed into the limo van. The speed limit on that stretch of the turnpike is 55 mph and was lowered to 45 mph that night because of construction.

Roper had been on the job about 13 1/2 hours at the time of the crash, the report concluded. Federal rules permit truck drivers to work up to 14 hours a day, with a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel.

The June 7 wreck on the New Jersey Turnpike killed 62-year-old comedian James McNair, who went by the name Jimmy Mack. Comedian Ardley Fuqua and Jeffrey and Krista Millea, who were passengers in the limo, are named as plaintiffs. Fuqua is recovering from crash-related injuries.

Morgan, a New York City native, was returning from a standup performance at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Delaware when the crash occurred

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