‘Terrible accident’ recounted in 911 tapes of Tracy Morgan crash

‘Terrible accident’ recounted in 911 tapes of Tracy Morgan crash

FATAL CRASH:Actor Tracy Morgan speaks during the taping of the Spike TV special tribute "Eddie Murphy: One Night Only" in 2012. Morgan remains hospitalized following a crash that killed fellow comedian Jimmy Mack. Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

By Victoria Cavaliere

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A woman who witnessed a multicar collision on a New Jersey highway that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed one of his associates called 911 to report a “terrible accident,” according to audio recordings released on Tuesday.

“There’s a terrible accident. The car flipped. It’s on its side,” the unidentified woman told an emergency operator moments after the early Saturday crash in which a Wal-Mart tractor trailer slammed into a limousine van carrying Morgan and several other people.

“There was an accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. It happened behind us,” another caller said in 911 recordings released by the New Jersey State Police.

Morgan, 45, best known for his roles on “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live,” and two other people riding in the van were critically injured and remained in a critical-care unit on Tuesday, said a spokeswoman at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Comic James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, 62, a writing partner of Morgan’s who was also in the van, died at the scene.

A fifth passenger was lightly hurt and released from the hospital.

Morgan’s injuries included a broken leg, nose and ribs and he underwent surgery over the weekend, his spokesman Lewis Kay said in a statement Monday.

Kay dismissed online rumors that Morgan’s leg had to be amputated.

“Rumors about amputating his leg are completely fabricated,” the statement said.

The driver of the Wal-Mart truck, Kevin Roper, 35, has been charged with vehicular homicide and injury by auto for operating his commercial vehicle after not having slept for more than 24 hours, resulting in the fatal crash, according to prosecutors.

He is due to appear in Middlesex County Superior Court on Wednesday.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Tuesday that its 7,175 drivers meet some of the highest safety standards in the industry.

So-called drowsy driving, or driving with too little sleep, causes more than 100,000 crashes a year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Scott Malone, Eric Beech and Gunna Dickson)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

‘Pan’ taps origins of Peter Pan’s 100-year pop culture adventure


In the century since Scottish author J.M. Barrie created Peter Pan for a stage play then a book, the Neverland universe has inspired movies, books, TV shows, plays, video games and even a pop psychology syndrome describing emotionally immature men.

in Music

Taylor Swift is taking a break


After seven months on the road the "Shake It Off" singer is ready for some time off.

in Music

Miranda Lambert channeling heartbreak into new music


The "Mama's Broken Heart" hitmaker is turning her divorce into good songwriting material, insisting she has "never felt so inspired."

in Entertainment

Keanu Reeves wants to have a third ‘Bill & Ted’ adventure


The "Matrix" star says a script for the third installment of the "excellent" time-traveling franchise is in the works.

in Music

Selena Gomez battling Lupus


The "Heart Wants What It Wants" singer, 23, revealed she has secretly been battling the disease and took a break from the spotlight in order to undergo chemotherapy.