Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Deadly Semi Crash Critically Injures SNL Funny Man Tracy Morgan

Published on Jun 16, 2014 at 12:45 pm in Trucking Accident.

A tragic trucking accident has caught the nation’s attention in part because the accident involved well-known comedians. The Walmart truck crashed into a limousine van and killed comedian James McNair, called “Jimmy Mack,” and critically injured SNL alum Tracy Morgan.

The tragedy called attention to a serious matter, which is long haul truck drivers who drive too many hours and become sleepy behind the wheel. This accident occurred about 1:00 a.m. on the New Jersey Turnpike about 45 miles from New York City. The celebrities were returning to New York City, from a comedy show in Delaware. The truck driver failed to notice traffic slowing in front of him and tried to swerve out of the way but it was too late. He slammed into the comedians’ 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and set off a chain reaction involving four other vehicles.

County prosecutors in New Jersey alleged that the driver was operating the truck recklessly and allegedly had gone without sleep for more than 24 hours. He was charged with one count of vehicular homicide and one count of assault by auto.

Walmart pledged in a media statement that it would take responsibility if it was shown its truck was at fault. But a spokesman for Walmart told CNN its truck driver did not break any laws. The statement said the company believed the driver was “operating within the federal hours of service regulations.”

Long haul drivers are supposed to take 10-hour breaks, and they’re not supposed to drive more than 11 hours during a 14 hour period.

NTSB Investigating

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident. The NTSB told CNN:

“As a general practice, the NTSB will look at the driver’s activities during the days leading up to the accident, including any commutes. We have requested the driver’s log and any supporting documentation, such as fuel receipts, which we will review to determine whether the driver was or was not in violation of drivers’ hours of service requirements.”

The NTSB is concerned enough to issue a statement noting that the number of fatal accidents involving big rigs has been rising. In 2012, there were over 300,000 large truck crashes, which led to 3900 fatalities and 100,000 injuries. Of those killed, 73% were in vehicles other than the trucks.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out of pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Legal & Firm News

Two Nurses Arrested in Ohio for Nursing Home Resident Neglect

In April 2022, Sunrise Manor nursing home’s director of nursing and assistant nursing director were arrested for allegations of patient neglect. Christina Drake and Jennie Elliott are being investigated following a criminal complaint filed in regard to an incident that occurred in April 2020. The two nursing staff members are facing multiple first-degree misdemeanor charges, […]

Read More

What Injuries Do Unattended Children Most Commonly Suffer?

It is a tragedy when a child is killed or injured in an accident that could have been prevented. Most of the time, it only takes one attentive adult to stop these tragic incidents from happening. The personal injury lawyers at Thomas Law Offices look at what injuries unattended children most commonly suffer and⁠—more importantly—how […]

Read More

What Injuries Can Result From Slamming on the Brakes?

No matter how safely you may drive, you will undoubtedly encounter situations in which you will have to take significant evasive maneuvers to avoid a car accident. While avoiding a motor vehicle crash is virtually always preferable to a collision, there are times when the evasive action can also cause harm.

Read More
Tad Thomas on The National Crime Victim Bar Association
Tad Thomas on AVVO
Tad Thomas on Lawyer Minds
Tad Thomas on American Association for Justice
Southern Trial Lawyers Association
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Ohio Association for Justice
Kentucky Justice Association
Tad Thomas on Attorney at Law Magazine
Tad Thomas on Attorney at Law Magazine
2021 Public Justice Member
AAJ Masters of Trial Law: Champion