• NTSB releases its report on truck accident involving Tracy Morgan
• Report claims that truck driver fatigue largely to blame
• Walmart settles personal injury and wrongful death claims in wake of crash
Morgan, known for his work on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock”, was seriously injured, and left with brain damage.
Morgan’s mentor, Jimmy “Mack” McNair lost his life in the crash. Now, over a year later, the NTSB has said that truck driver fatigue is largely to blame, as the driver had been awake for more than 28 consecutive hours before the crash. According to the safety agency’s report, the accident could have been prevented if the truck driver had simply slowed his speed to the limit posted in the construction zone. Just before the fatal collision, the truck’s speed was apparently 65 mph, and only slowed to between 47 to 53 mph when it hit the limo carrying Morgan, McNair, and five others.
Truck driver fatigue is a serious issue when it comes to safety on U.S. roads and highways. The fact that it played such a large role in this case that has garnered so much media attention is just the tip of the iceberg. Driver fatigue causes car crashes can be particularly deadly when the sleep-deprived drivers are operating vehicles with the sheer size and weight of a tractor-trailer.
A driver who causes motor vehicle accident after “knowingly” driving while sleep deprived is liable for the damages he or she causes. In some cases, fatigued driving can be the basis for criminal penalties. For example, in New Jersey, a driver who causes a motor vehicle accident after knowingly going without sleep for more than 24 hours can be criminally charged with assault by automobile.
In the wake of this truck accident, Walmart has settled a civil lawsuit against it that was filed by Morgan and two of the people who were injured. Despite denying that it or the driver did anything wrong, it has paid out $10 million stemming from wrongful death claim McNair’s children made against the company. This financial compensation will help the victims of this deadly collision recover from their physical and emotional wounds as they try to move forward.
On a lighter note, Morgan has been tapped to host “Saturday Night Live” on Oct. 17, 2015 NBC has announced.
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