| NEW YORK, June 19
NEW YORK, June 19 The truck driver accused of
causing a fatal car crash on a New Jersey highway that
critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan was driving 65 miles
per hour (105 kph) in a 45 mph (72 kph) zone, federal
investigators said on Thursday.
Data recovered from the truck driven by Wal-Mart Stores Inc
delivery driver Kevin Roper, showed the tractor trailer
was traveling at a speed of 65 mph in the minute leading up to
the fatal crash, according to the National Transportation Safety
Board's preliminary report.
About half a mile (0.8 km) from the crash site, speed limit
signs instructed drivers to reduce speed from 55 mph to 45 mph
due to construction work ahead.
The report, which said the NTSB investigation is ongoing,
also noted that the 35-year-old trucker from Georgia had logged
over 9-1/2 hours of driving time by the time the crash occurred
and had been on duty for 13-1/2 hours. Federal rules limit
commercial drivers to logging a maximum of 14 hours at a
Last week, Roper pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of
death by auto and injury by auto while operating his tractor
trailer. Prosecutors said he had not slept "in excess of 24
Roper, who is free on $50,000 bail, stands accused of
failing to see traffic slowing in front of him on the New Jersey
Turnpike and slamming into the back of the limousine van, which
was carrying Morgan, who is best known for roles on the TV shows
"30 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live," and several of his
The chain reaction crash early on June 7 involved a total of
six vehicles, and killed a passenger in the limo van, comedian
James "Jimmy Mack" McNair.
Morgan remains hospitalized and on Monday his condition was
upgraded to fair from critical.
Wal-Mart has promised to cooperate in the state and federal
investigation into the crash and said its drivers are among the
safest on the road.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and