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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.
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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.
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).
The truck driver charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto after driving into a bus carrying comedian Tracy Morgan has pleaded not guilty to falling asleep at the wheel during an arraignment hearing. Appearing at Middlesex County Superior Court, New Jersey on Wednesday (11Jun14), Kevin Roper, who is accused of causing the pile-up that cost comedian James McNair his life and left Morgan and three others seriously injured, insisted he wasn't sleep-deprived behind the wheel of his Walmart truck.
In the criminal complaint, police stated Roper had been awake for more than 24 hours at the time of the crash. He failed to notice traffic slowing in front of him and hit Morgan's bus despite trying to swerve out of the way.
Roper's bosses at Walmart believe Roper was operating within federal rest guidelines.
Under New Jersey law, a driver can be convicted if there's proof he had been without sleep for 24 hours at the time of an accident.
Roper faces five to 10 years behind bars if prosecutors can prove he ignored sleep guidelines for a trucker.
Morgan remains in hospital after the crash.
TV bosses behind Tracy Morgan's upcoming comedy series have vowed to put the project on hold until the actor is well enough to return to work after an horrific car crash left him in a critical condition. The former 30 Rock star remains in intensive care after the limo bus he was travelling in on Saturday (07Jun14) was rear-ended by a truck, killing his comedy writer friend James 'Jimmy Mack' McNair, and leaving four others, including Morgan, injured.
Morgan had been due to begin shooting the as-yet-untitled scripted series for America's FXX network in August (14), but he is now facing a long recovery period as he continues to receive treatment for a number of ailments, including a broken leg, a broken nose and several broken ribs.
Producers have now issued a statement pledging their support to Morgan.
The press release reads: "The only thing we are concerned with is the health and recovery of Tracy Morgan and the victims of this tragic accident.
"We will support Tracy and his family in every way possible throughout his recovery. At the point when Tracy has recovered and decides that he is ready to go back to work, his show will be waiting for him. Right now our thoughts and prayers remain with Tracy, the other victims of the accident, and their families."
The new show has been written by It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia stars Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton.
Truck driver Kevin Roper has since been charged with one count of death by auto and four of assault by auto. Prosecutors claim Roper, a driver for U.S. superstore Wal-Mart, had not slept in more than 24 hours prior to the fatal accident.