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Comedian Tracy Morgan has spoken out for the first time after he was seriously injured in a multi-car pile up in New Jersey to assure fans he is feeling "strong".
The 30 Rock star was hospitalised in a critical condition on 7 June (14) when a Wal-Mart truck slammed into the back of a limousine he was travelling in, killing his mentor and colleague James 'Jimmy Mack' McNair. Morgan, 45, was released from a rehabilitation centre last week (ends11Jul14) and has since returned to his New Jersey home, where he will continue his recovery for injuries including a broken leg, a broken nose and several broken ribs.
On Monday (14Jul14), he was pictured back on his feet with the help of a walker as he was helped into a waiting car outside his house. Asked how he was feeling, he told photographers, "I'm OK. I feel strong. Love you. Thank you very much. I appreciate it."
Wal-Mart driver Kevin Roper stands accused causing the multi-vehicle accident after allegedly falling asleep at the wheel of his truck. Morgan, his assistant Jeffrey Millea and comedian Ardie Fuqua, who were also injured in the crash, filed suit against bosses at the U.S. superstore on Thursday (10Jul14), accusing them of negligence, alleging company executives should have known Roper had been awake for more than 24 hours and that his drive from his home in Georgia to work in Delaware was "unreasonable". Roper denies charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto.
Actor Tracy Morgan has left a rehabilitation centre following the horrific traffic accident last month (Jun14) that left him in intensive care. The 30 Rock star was seriously injured when a Walmart truck slammed into the back of the limousine he was travelling in in New Jersey, killing his colleague James 'Jimmy Mack' McNair and hospitalising several others along with Morgan.
He was moved to a physical rehabilitation centre after his condition was upgraded from critical to fair, and editors at TMZ.com now report the TV star has been discharged from the facility and will continue his recovery at home.
A representative for Morgan tells the website, "He (Tracy) asked me to pass along his sincerest gratitude to everyone who has helped him get to this point."
Driver Kevin Roper stands accused of falling asleep at the wheel and causing the multi-vehicle accident, and Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Walmart for negligence, alleging company bosses should have known Roper had been awake for more than 24 hours and that his drive from his home in Georgia to work in Delaware was "unreasonable".
Roper denies charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto.
TV funnyman Tracy Morgan is suing U.S. retail giant Walmart following the car crash last month (Jun14) that left him in intensive care. Walmart truck driver Kevin Roper is accused of falling asleep at the wheel and causing a multi-vehicle accident when he slammed into the back of Morgan's limousine in New Jersey, killing Morgan's colleague James 'Jimmy Mack' McNair and hospitalising several others.
The lawsuit, filed in New Jersey on Thursday (10Jul14), alleges the company should have known Roper had been awake for more than 24 hours and that his drive from Georgia, where he lives, to work in Delaware was "unreasonable".
The suit reads, "Wal-Mart was careless and negligent in the ownership and operation of its motor vehicle, which caused Mr. Morgan to suffer severe personal injuries. As a direct and proximate result of said collision, Mr. Morgan was caused to sustain severe painful bodily injuries, including but not limited to multiple fractures which required multiple surgeries, extensive medical treatment and will require significant physical rehabilitation."
The plaintiffs, which also include Morgan's assistant Jeffrey Millea and comedian Ardie Fuqua, who were also injured in the crash, are seeking damages, legal fees, and pre- and post-judgment interest.
The 30 Rock star was moved to a rehabilitation facility last month (Jun14) after his condition was upgraded from critical to fair.
Roper has pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto.
More than a hundred well-wishers gathered in New Jersey on Monday night (07Jul14) to hold a prayer vigil for a comedian injured in a car crash with Tracy Morgan last month (Jun14). Ardie Fuqua was among those hurt in the 7 June (14) traffic accident which killed comic writer James 'Jimmy Mack' McNair and left fellow funnyman Morgan fighting for his life after the limousine they were travelling in collided with a truck.
The 30 Rock star was recently transferred from hospital to a rehabilitation facility, while his pal Fuqua, 43, who sustained a brain injury, is also facing a long recovery in rehab.
Fuqua was the focus of a prayer meeting and candlelit vigil held on the street where he lives in Jersey City on Monday, a month after the horrific crash. His friends, family members and neighbours were among those who turned out holding candles, and the street was adorned with green and black ribbons.
Reverend Dorothy Patterson, of Fuqua's family church, led the service and told the Jersey Journal newspaper, "We wanted to just gather as a community, as a family, just to let (the Fuqua family) know that there are people all over praying for them... It's a very close community. Ardie was born and raised on this block, so they all know him," while the funnyman's father, Ardie Fuqua Sr., adds "(It) lets me know that the people care. It lets me know that the people see me when I don't think they see me."
Kevin Roper, 35, from Georgia, has pleaded guilty to a number of charges stemming from the deadly crash. He was driving a truck for U.S. superstore Walmart and is accused of falling asleep at the wheel.
It might not be as glamorous as Cannes or as cool as Sundance, but the Los Angeles Film Festival has just as much to offer as its larger counterparts. Between high-profile premieres of blockbuster films, international competition entries and some of the most exciting indies around all premiering at LAFF every year, there's plenty to pay attention to. But if you were unfortunate enough to let the this year's fest — which ran from June 11 to 19 — we've got you covered with a rundown of the most talked-about films to premiere at LAFF, and what the critics are saying about them. Now you can make all of your friends think you're cooler than you actually are.
They Came Together The Amy Poehler/Paul Rudd romantic comedy you’ve been waiting for is less about the relationship between the central couple, Joel (Rudd) and Molly (Poehler), and more about skewering every last trope of the genre. Written and directed by Wet Hot American Summer’s David Wain, the film lovingly parodies the traits, characters, conversations, and comically large apartments that appear in every rom com ever made, while allowing two funny, good looking people to fall in love in an entertaining way.
“The script’s on-the-nose descriptions of each character (as described by the characters themselves) actually works to frame them as self-aware people forced to play out roles we have seen before and allows the hilarious cast to play within those lines. Poehler and Rudd have a natural chemistry that makes them believable as the two leads in love, but their comedy also blends well making it clear they are having fun with each other and the characters they are playing.” – Allison Loring, Film School Rejects
"Wain leads his well-known cast through spoofs of such classics as When Harry Met Sally, Annie Hall, The Graduate and the sharp-elbowed comedies of Tracy and Hepburn. Each gag makes you wish you were watching the original, although a clench between Joel and his grandmother (Lynn Cohen) that almost leads to incestuous coupling deserves credit for sheer audacity. Most of the time, however, the actors on the screen seem to be having much more fun than the audience will." - David D'Arcy, Screen Daily
Cut Bank A small town crime drama set in Cut Bank, Montana that centers on a former high school football star (Liam Hemsworth) desperate to find a way out of his town. After he accidentally films the murder of the town mailman, he is offered a reward that would give him enough money to leave for good, but things aren't a simple as they seem, and he finds himself caught in a tangled web of deception and danger.
"...Shakman lets the scenes unfurl with a clunky pace and little verve, simply exaggerating the irony and naivety in the town as his main go-to points. It only makes sense that [John] Malkovich’s sheriff has never fired his gun and carries an aversion to violence; likewise with Palmer, who itches non-stop after a Miss Cut Bank pageant title even while she wants nothing more than to skip town. Thankfully humor seeps in through the edges of the film and its characters, sometimes on purpose and other times not." - Charlie Schmidlin, The Playlist
Dear White People A satire of college movies that tackles race relations and privilege in society, Dear White People follows four students as an Ivy League university — golden boy Troy (Brandon P. Bell), activist radio host Samantha (Tessa Thompson), Colendra "Coco" Conners (Teyona Parris), who has dreams of being a reality TV star, and shy misfit Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams) — after a planned "African American"-themed party thrown by a group of white students starts a riot on campus.
"If it ultimately feels modestly edgy rather than shocking or dangerous, 'Dear White People' nonetheless provokes admiration for having bothered to ask some of the hard questions without pretending to know any of the answers. It also works as a fine showcase for its actors: Fleshing out characters that could have been little more than one-note mouthpieces, Williams, Thompson, Parris and Bell all make strong, distinctive impressions, with Thompson perhaps the standout as the film’s sharpest and most enigmatic figure." - Justin Chang, Variety
The Last Time You Had Fun With a cast full of comedians and sitcom alums, The Last Time You Had Fun puts a grown-up twist on the standard "wild night out" comedy. After Ida (Eliza Coupe) forces her sister Alison (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) to blow off some steam with her, they find themselves bickering and partying with Clark (Kyle Bornheimer) and the sweatpants-clad Will (Demetri Martin), as the four of them attempt to have the most fun that four older, dysfunctional adults could possibly have.
"Granted, the excesses of Bridesmaids or The Hangover are not essential to sparkling relationship comedy, but Fun lacks an edge, or even much of an attitude. Blandly risqué situations, featherweight banter and a hint of implied sexual impropriety have all the heft of an extended cable sitcom episode. Or maybe it’s the casting, which draws extensively on the TV comedy background of the four leads, who all acquit themselves adequately but can’t achieve sufficient character differentiation within the ensemble. Undistinguished locations, flat lighting and primarily static setups perpetuate the small-screen aesthetic, which at least bodes well for the film’s transition to home entertainment formats." - Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter
Echo Park The debut film from photographer Amanda Marsalis, Echo Park is a story about two people who come together "across cultural, economic and racial boundaries." Sophie (Mamie Gummer) is an unhappy housewife who moves from her Beverly Hills home to the up-and-coming neighborhood of Echo Park in order to shake up her predictable boring life, who finds herself drawn to Alex (Tony Okungbowa) after she buys his couch. But their burgeoning relationship might have to be put on hold, since he's about to leave for London...
"It’s Marsalis’ direction, and the fine performances from Gummer and Okungbowa that elevate the film above what it might have been, given the issues with the script and story that hover around the edges of cliché and stereotype (the worst offender: Sophie’s mother). While the dialogue, especially the scenes between Sophie and Alex, works well, the story beats are oddly laid out, rushing through some important character and relationship establishing moments, and dwelling too long in moments where the characters are making frustrating, selfish choices. Still, the end of the film avoids falling into the traditional romantic film trap, leading to a message that’s a bit more complicated and nuanced than expected." - Katie Walsh, IndieWire
Actor Tracy Morgan has been moved to a rehabilitation facility following a New Jersey traffic pile-up that put him in the hospital and claimed the life of his comedian pal James 'jimmy Mack' Mcnair. Kevin Roper, a driver for U.S. superstore Walmart, stands accused of falling asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle after ploughing into the back of a limo bus carrying Morgan and his companions early on 7 June (14).
The impact of the collision killed McNair and left Morgan and two others with serious injuries.
Earlier this week (begs16Jun14), the 30 Rock star's condition was upgraded to fair from critical and on Friday (20Jun14), he was transferred to an undisclosed location to continue his treatment.
His representative tells E! News, "Tracy has been transferred to an undisclosed rehab centre, where he is expected to remain for the next few weeks. While he is continuing to show signs of improvement, he still has a long way to go.
"He and (fiancee) Megan wanted to publicly express their deepest gratitude to everyone at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for the unbelievable care and attention they provided him."
Meanwhile, Roper has pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto and a preliminary report released by officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) suggests he was speeding before the accident. Prosecutors also allege the driver had not slept for 24 hours prior to the fatal incident.
He faces up to 10 years behind bars if authorities can prove he ignored sleep guidelines for a trucker.
The truck driver deemed responsible for a New Jersey traffic pile-up that put funnyman Tracy Morgan in the hospital and claimed the life of his comedian pal James 'jimmy Mack' Mcnair was speeding prior to the collision, according to U.S. transportation officials. Kevin Roper, a driver for U.S. superstore Wal-Mart, stands accused of falling asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle after ploughing into the back of a limo bus carrying Morgan and his companions early on 7 June (14).
The impact of the collision killed McNair and left Morgan and two others with serious injuries.
Roper pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto during a court hearing last week (11Jun14), but now a preliminary report released by officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) suggests the suspect had ignored speed limit signs to slow down on the New Jersey Turnpike due to construction.
Officials claim he had been driving at 65 miles (104 kilometres)-per-hour, instead of the advised 45 miles (72 kilometres)-per-hour moments before the crash. The regular speed limit on the highway is 55 miles (88 kilometres)-per-hour.
Prosecutors have also accused Roper of sleep deprivation, claiming he had been awake for more than 24 hours at the time of the fatal incident. He faces up to 10 years behind bars if authorities can prove he ignored sleep guidelines for a trucker.
Morgan remains hospitalised, but his condition has been upgraded from critical to fair.
Tracy Morgan's condition has been upgraded to "fair" by doctors following his horrific car crash on 7 June (14).
The former 30 Rock star was left in a critical condition along with his assistant Jeff Millea and fellow comedian Ardie Fuqua after the accident in New Jersey. Comic writer James 'Jimmy Mack' McNair was killed when a truck collided with the group's limo-bus.
Morgan was taken to the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, where he has been receiving treatment for injuries including a broken leg, a broken nose and several broken ribs, and a little over a week after the incident, his condition has stabilised.
A statement from his spokesperson reads: "Happy to pass along that Tracy has been upgraded to fair condition, which is a great improvement. His personality is certainly starting to come back as well. "Also, Jeff Millea's family shared that he has been upgraded to fair condition as well."
Truck driver Kevin Roper has been charged with one count of death by auto and four of assault by auto, and pleaded not guilty during an appearance at Middlesex County Superior Court in New Jersey last week (ends15Jun14).
James Mcnair, the comedian who lost his life in the Tracy Morgan limo-bus crash at the weekend (07Jun14), was laid to rest in Pennsville, New York on Thursday (12Jun14). Morgan, his assistant Jeff Millea and fellow comedian Ardie Fuqua were seriously injured in the accident, but McNair, aka Uncle Jimmy Mack, was killed.
Morgan is still in a critical but stable condition in a New Jersey hospital and could not attend his mentor's funeral service, which was attended by hundreds of fans and mourners.
McNair, 62, appeared onstage with Morgan at a comedy show in Delaware on Friday night (06Jun14), before the two old friends boarded the limo-bus for their ill-fated trip home.
Morgan "continues to show signs of improvement," according to a statement released by his publicist on Thursday. He is expected to remain in hospital for weeks.
Comedian Louis C.K. is leading calls for a video shot moments after Tracy Morgan's horrific car crash to be removed from the Internet. The 30 Rock star was left in a critical condition along with his assistant Jeff Millea and fellow comedian Ardie Fuqua, while comic writer James 'Jimmy Mack' McNair was killed in the crash in New Jersey on Saturday (07Jun14).
Editors at TMZ.com have obtained a video of the scene of the accident shot shortly afterwards, showing a man thought to be Fuqua being lifted from the wreckage. C.K., who worked with Fuqua on his sitcom Louie, is now pleading with bosses at the website to remove the footage, writing on Twitter.com, "Take it down TMZ. Now. Please... Tmz has a video of footage of my friends Tracy and Arte in a terrible crash. They are in ICU (intensive care unit)... Arte's brave daughter asked them to take it down. They won't.... Please don't go to TMZ to watch the video. Please ask them to take it down. @TMZ."
Other celebrities have joined calls for video to be removed. Director Judd Apatow writes, "@HarveyLevinTMZ please take down the accident video," while actor Dax Sheperd adds, "@TMZ is our worst cultural offering. It's just a click below 'Ow My Balls.'"
The video remained on the web as WENN went to press. The truck driver whose vehicle reportedly rear-ended Morgan's limousine and caused the six-car pile-up pleaded not guilty to death by auto and assault by auto in court on Wednesday (11Jun14).