UPDATE: State Police said an 18-wheeler driven by a dozing trucker who didn’t see traffic slowing in front of him slammed into the back of the limo bus carrying comedian Tracy Morgan and his entourage, killing the comedian’s comedy writer and leaving the former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” cast member and his assistant in critical condition.
Morgan, 45, was in the Intensive Care Unit at Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center in New Brunswick following the 1 a.m. crash on the New Jersey Turnpike between Exits 7 and 8A in Cranbury, his publicist, Lewis Kay, said this afternoon.
“His family is now with him and he is receiving excellent care,” Kay said in the statement. “We don’t anticipate much of a change in his condition today but will provide a further update once more information becomes available.”
Killed in the crash was Morgan comedy writer James McNair. Also critically injured was Morgan’s assistant, Jeff Millea, and comedian Comedian Ardie Fuqua, the opening act on Morgan’s current “Turn It Funny” tour.
Released after being treated was comedian Harris Stanton.
Morgan — who is about to become a father for the fourth time — had performed with Stanton and Fuqua earlier last night at a Delaware casino and had a gig scheduled tonight in Charlotte, N.C. He’d reportedly been planning a baby shower later this month with his girlfriend, Megan Wollover.
A Walmart and Sam’s Club tractor-tractor were involved in the six-vehicle wreck with Morgan’s Mercedes Sprinter limo bus, which overturned in the northbound lanes near a service area.
Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, was expected to turn himself in today to face four counts of assault by auto, with a $50,000 bail.
“Driver failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead,” NJSP Sgt. First Class Gregory Williams said. “He observed at the last minute — just prior to impact — the limo bus carrying Morgan and his party.”
Fuqua posted a quartet of photos, one of the inside of the luxury limo bus and one of a smiling Morgan, arms outstretched, after last night’s show.
“This is what it looks like from the stage to see a standing ovation from 1500 people,” wrote Fuqua. “Then we traveled back to NYC in style in a luxury Mercedes Sprinter. Road life is a good life!”