Truck driver who hit Tracy Morgan’s limo pleads guilty
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — A former Walmart truck driver who crashed into a limousine carrying comedian Tracy Morgan and three others pleaded guilty Tuesday in a New Jersey court. Under the terms of the plea deal, he is not expected to serve jail time.
Kevin Roper, 37, entered the plea to second-degree vehicular homicide and four counts of third-degree aggravated assault in Middlesex County Superior Court.
Roper was driving a Walmart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike in Cranbury when it crashed into the vehicle carrying Morgan and others on June 7, 2014. Morgan was seriously injured and his friend, fellow comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, was killed.
“Mr. Roper entered a guilty plea to certain counts of the indictment pending against him, attorney David Glassman told CNN in a statement. “In exchange he was granted admission into the PTI program.”
According to his attorney, Roper will enter a three-year pretrial intervention program. If he stays arrest-free and completes 300 hours of community service, the charges will be dismissed, and he will not have a record.
Glassman said the deal was “an exceptional result and opportunity given the serious nature of the charges and potential for far more serious outcomes. Kevin is grateful for this opportunity to get these charges dismissed and move on with his life.”
Roper’s fatigue, exacerbated by his decision to drive 12 hours to work before he started his 14-hour shift, likely caused the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board said in August.
Morgan suffered a traumatic brain injury and multiple broken bones. He was in a coma for eight days and was blind for six days.
Recently, former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” funnyman Morgan has returned to the stage in his “Picking up the Pieces” comedy tour. He paid tribute to McNair in a tweet on October 2, 2016.
Requests for comment from Morgan’s representative and prosecutors were not immediately returned.
Walmart settled with Morgan in May 2015 for an undisclosed amount.
“Walmart did right by me and my family, and for my associates and their families. I am grateful that the case was resolved amicably,” Morgan said at the time.