Comedian and former Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan is in intensive care following a fatal six-vehicle collision on the Jersey Turnpike Saturday morning that's already claimed one life+ READ ARTICLE
Updated 12:30 p.m. E.T. on June 8
Tracy Morgan was in critical condition after his limousine SUV crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike early Saturday, state police told said.
Kevin Roper, a 35-year-old truck driver from Georgia, was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto in connection with the crash Saturday, Middlesex County prosecutors told the Associated Press. His bail was set at $50,000. Roper was driving a Walmart truck at the time of the accident.
The 45-year-old former Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star and six others in his limo were involved in a six-vehicle pile-up on the turnpike at about 1 a.m., said Sgt. Gregory Williams of the New Jersey Police.
An eyewitness told People.com that the moment the truck hit the Mercedes SUV carrying Morgan was “like a movie in slow motion,” and described how other motorists stopped to help in the aftermath of the crash:
“Because the SUV was lying on the driver’s side, the passenger’s side was now facing up,” said the witness. “The driver had gotten out and was standing on top of the passenger’s side. He and someone else, I think a passenger, were trying to get people out. The passenger was trying to rip out the divider between the front seat and the back of the SUV. The windshield was broken. You could see blood everywhere. You could tell it was really bad.” She added that passengers had to be cut out of the vehicle by fire crews.
“Tracy remains in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital,” Morgan’s publicist, Lewis Kay, told TIME on Saturday. “He sustained these injuries in an accident that occurred early this morning as one of several passengers in a chauffeured SUV returning from a tour date in Delaware.”
His family joined him in the hospital, Kay said.
One man traveling in the limo died, while three others were taken to New Brunswick’s Robert Wood Hospital along with Morgan. The limo was overturned in the accident, which also involved two passenger cars, two tractor trailers and an SUV.
Walmart CEO Bill Simon said he was “profoundly sorry” one of his company’s trucks was involved in the accident. “We are working quickly to understand what happened and are cooperating fully with law enforcement to aid their investigation.”
Morgan performed Friday night at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Dover, Delaware.
Fellow comedians extended their well-wishes on Twitter Saturday morning.
New Jersey police said said there were no indications alcohol played a role in the crash.
A spokeswoman for the hospital told TIME that three of the limo passengers were in critical condition and that a fourth was in stable condition, but would not confirm the identity of the patients.