More details are emerging from the tragic accident that took place on the New Jersey Turnpike early Saturday morning. The driver responsible for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has offered several interviews, and stated that he could hear cries for help following the accident. The accident happened fast, and the impact was enough to overturn the large Mercedes limo van onto its side.
The accident was caused by an 18-wheel shipping truck belonging to Wal-Mart. The driver has been charged with death with a vehicle, and assault with a vehicle–two charges stemming from New Jersey state law. It is not suspected that drugs or alcohol were involved, but authorities believe the truck driver may have been dozing off, and simply didn’t see that traffic had slowed on the turnpike. According to the criminal report, he had not slept in the 24 hour period prior to the crash.
Following the accident, the limo driver, Tyrone Gale, was able to exit the vehicle through a window. Once outside, he climbed onto the body of the vehicle, and could hear Tracy Morgan asking for help from within. Gale was unable to reach any of his passengers. Tracy sustained injuries to his ribs, face and leg, and required surgery on Sunday. It is alleged that his leg was so damaged, the surgical team considered amputation, but an alert Tracy asked the team to do everything they could to save it.
Tracy is now in critical, but stable condition, and is reportedly more responsive. James McNair, one of Tracy’s first friends in the world of comedy, was killed in the accident.
Everything about this story is tragically sad. It seems like something easily avoidable. In fairness to the trucker, the current demands placed on the trucking industry by employers are nearly impossible to achieve within the legal standards set by the National Transportation and Safety Board. If truckers miss a deadline, they lose pay, or potentially a job, and there is rarely a contingency offered for construction, accidents that occur en route, weather or traffic–it’s a hard deadline.
For more information, and the short interview clip with Tyrone Gale, check out the video below.
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