Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan, known for his work on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, was injured on Saturday on the New Jersey Turnpike when a Wal-Mart truck crashed into the back of his limousine. In addition to Morgan’s injuries, two others were injured and another died in the truck accident.
According to authorities, the trucker responsible for the accident had fallen asleep behind the wheel after having been awake for over 24 hours. Now the 35-year-old trucker faces criminal charges of death by auto and assault by auto, to which he has apparently pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he could be spending a fair amount of time in prison.
For its part, Wal-Mart has stated that the trucker is believed to have been in compliance with federal safety regulations. Federal hours-of-service regulations govern how many hours a trucker can spend behind the wheel and during a work week, as well as how frequently breaks must be taken. The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that truck drivers are adequately rested on the road. They are for the good of both truckers and other motorists.
Trucking companies and their drivers are supposed to keep records of their compliance with hours-of-service regulations. Unfortunately, truckers do not always do what they are supposed to and companies do not always ensure compliance. Those who are harmed by a fatigued trucker deserve to be compensated and to hold accountable both the trucker and his or her employer.
Truck accident victims should make sure to work with an experienced attorney when pursuing litigation. Doing so ensures they receive the best possible advocacy.
Source: Fox News, “Truck driver pleads not guilty in Tracy Morgan crash,” June 11, 2014.