Comedian Tracy Morgan screamed for help in the moments after a horrific car accident, his driver says, and the critical injuries he sustained were expected Sunday to keep him hospitalized for weeks.
“I climbed around and heard Tracy screaming for help,” Morgan’s driver, Tyrone Gale, told ABC. “I climbed up on the body of the limo bus… but I couldn’t reach them.”
The accident on the New Jersey Turnpike left him with broken bones and head trauma, his publicist said Sunday, condemning him to several weeks in a hospital bed. Morgan remained in critical condition Sunday afternoon, but was more responsive and had improved slightly since the day before. The 45-year-old’s family has been with him since shortly after the accident early Saturday morning.
“While Tracy remains in critical condition, he has been more responsive today, which is an incredibly encouraging sign,” publicist Lewis Kay said in a statement. “He sustained a number of injuries including a broken leg, a broken femur, a broken nose and several broken ribs. He had surgery earlier today on his leg.”
The accident occurred when 35-year-old Walmart truck driver Kevin Roper hit Morgan’s limousine from behind, police said, killing a close friend of the former 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live actor, and injuring Morgan and three others.
“I just remember the impact,” Gale said. “We didn’t know which way was up, which way was down. I don’t know if we flipped several times or one time. I saw the condition of everybody and I knew it would just make it worse if I tried to pull them up and out of the vehicle.”
Walmart CEO Bill Simon issued an apology that one of its 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,” he said.
In the hours after the accident, stars including Eddie Griffin and Questlove took to Twitter to offer their best wishes for the injured Morgan.
Strength & Speedy Recovery to @RealTracyMorgan who survived a massive car crash this morn.
— Ahmir (@questlove) June 7, 2014
Morgan had surgery early Sunday on his leg and is expected to remain in the hospital for several more weeks, Kay said.