Truck Driver in Tracy Morgan's Car Crash Pleads Not Guilty to Vehicular Homicide
Kevin Roper, the truck driver accused of causing the crash that nearly cost Tracy Morgan his life, pleaded not guilty to one count of vehicular homicide and four counts of assault by auto during his court appearance in New Jersey Wednesday afternoon.
If convicted, the Wal-Mart truck driver could face 18 months of prison for each of the assault charges, while his vehicular homicide charge carries a five- to 10-year prison sentence. Roper, 35, is currently free on $50,000 bail.
According to police documents, Roper did not slow for traffic while driving through New Jersey early Saturday morning. He was forced to swerve to avoid a crash and slammed into the back of the limo bus Morgan was traveling in while doing so. Prosecutors later revealed that Roper had not slept for more than 24 hours prior to the accident.
Morgan's mentor, James "Jimmy Mack" McNair was killed in the collision. Meanwhile, Morgan suffered a broken leg, a broken femur, a broken nose and several broken ribs in the crash.
Kevin Roper arrives to court on June 11, 2014. [Photo courtesy of Getty Images]
A rep for Morgan released a statement earlier this week, reading:
"Tracy remains in critical but stable condition. His fiancée Megan [Wollover] is by his side. The concern for his well-being has been overwhelming, but Megan is respectfully asking that the media await official word through these channels before speculating (mostly inaccurately) on his condition. Rumors about amputating his leg are completely fabricated. As we shared yesterday, Tracy had surgery on his broken leg. We are working closely with the incredible staff at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital to share information when it is available. This recovery will be arduous and we hope that you can be patient during this difficult time. Thank you."Morgan and Wollover had a daughter in July 2013. Morgan also has three other children from his previously relationship.
Wal-Mart President Bill Simon previously said in a statement that the company "will take full responsibility" if it's determined that their truck caused the crash. Simon also noted Roper was abiding by federal driver safety guidelines, which mandate that a driver spend at least 10 hours not behind the wheel before a shift, and that no shift last longer than 14 hours.