News

‘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 Music

This week’s top rock tracks

foofighters

LISTEN: This week's top rock songs, according to the latest Billboard chart.

in Music

Ozzy Osbourne to undergo surgery

British musicians Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath, arrives at the Classic Rock Roll of Honour awards 2013 at the Camden Roundhouse in north London, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.

Ozzy Osbourne has cancelled his upcoming Ozzfiesta event in Mexico to undergo surgery.

in Weird

Belligerent birds chase people at Florida park

Actress Tippi Hedren, star of the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock film "The Birds," poses with Julian Jarrold, center, director of the HBO film "The Girl," and cast member Toby Jones on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Hedren's relationship with Hitchcock during the making of the film is the subject of the HBO film "The Girl."

In a scene straight out of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," some out-of-control birds are chasing people at a central Florida park.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Billy Zane mistakenly thanks One Direction fans for support

Billy Zane arrives at the Global Green USA's 12th Annual Pre-Oscar Party at the Avalon Hollywood on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, in Los Angeles.

Actor Billy Zane pokes fun at the fact he shares a similar name to former One Direction member Zayn Malik in a new video.

in Weird

Loose police horse briefly on patrol in downtown Cleveland

horse

The horse stayed on the street during his escape but didn't stop at red lights.