The Walmart driver charged in the fatal crash that left comedian Tracy Morgan critically injured was going 20 miles per hour above the posted speed limit and had been driving for close to 10 hours, federal officials said Thursday.
The National Transportation Safety Board said that because of construction work on the New Jersey Turnpike, the speed limit was lowered from 55 mph to 45 mph on the stretch where the June 7 accident occurred.
But data from the truck shows that in the 60 seconds before the tractor-trailer slammed into the back of the limo bus carrying Morgan and six others, it was traveling at 65 mph.
New Jersey prosecutors have charged the driver, Kevin Roper, with vehicular homicide and assault. A criminal complaint alleged that he had not slept for more than 24 hours before the crash.
The NTSB's preliminary report said it's still investigating how much rest he had, but it does not appeal he breached federal regulations regarding driving time for commercial trucks.
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Roper had been on duty for 13 hours 32 minutes at the time of the collision, a half-hour shy of the federal limit. He had logged 9 hours and 37 minutes of driving time.
The NTSB also released 3-D scans of the vehicles that showed the damage.
Three-dimensional scan of the Mercedes-Benz limo van involved in the June 7 crash in Cranbury, N.J.
Three-dimensional scan of the Peterbilt combination vehicle involved in the June 7 crash in Cranbury, N.J.
Roper's lawyer did not return an immediate call for comment on the findings. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Morgan's mentor, James McNair, was killed in the crash. Three others, including Morgan, were critically injured, but the "30 Rock" star's condition was upgraded to fair this week.
— Tracy Connor
First published June 19 2014, 7:44 AM