June 9, 2014 in Nation/World

Morgan recovering after surgery

Bruce Shipkowski Associated Press
 

Morgan
(Full-size photo)

TRENTON, N.J. – Tracy Morgan was recovering Sunday, but was expected to remain hospitalized for several weeks after having surgery on a broken leg suffered in a deadly chain-reaction crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that left two others critically injured and another man dead.

The 45-year-old actor and comedian, a former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” cast member, remained in critical condition but was “more responsive” Sunday after having surgery for a broken leg, said Morgan’s spokesman, Lewis Kay.

Kay said Morgan also sustained a broken femur, broken nose and several broken ribs and is expected to remain hospitalized for “several weeks.” He said Morgan’s family is “tremendously overwhelmed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from his fans.”

A Wal-Mart truck driver from Georgia was charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. Authorities said 35-year-old Kevin Roper, of Jonesboro, apparently failed to slow for traffic ahead early Saturday in Cranbury Township and swerved at the last minute to avoid a crash. Instead, his big rig smashed into the back of Morgan’s chauffeured Mercedes limo bus, killing comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, authorities said.

Also critically injured were Morgan’s assistant, Jeffrey Millea, 36, of Shelton, Connecticut, and comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr., 43, of Jersey City. They remained in critical condition Sunday evening, said Zenaida Mendez, a spokeswoman for Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick. Another passenger, comic Harris Stanton, was treated and released.

Roper, accompanied by his attorney, turned himself in to state police. He was released on $50,000 bail Saturday night and has been placed on administrative leave, Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar said Sunday.

Wal-Mart President Bill Simon said in a statement that the company “will take full responsibility” if authorities determine its truck caused the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board is working with state police to look at any issues related to commercial trucking and limousine safety.

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