The truck driver charged in the fatal crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan and hurt several other people pleaded not guilty at his first court appearance Wednesday.
Kevin Roper was arraigned in state Superior Court on charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto. Roper was driving a Wal-Mart truck early Saturday when he allegedly swerved to avoid slowed traffic on the turnpike and plowed into Morgan's limo.
A criminal complaint alleges that the 35-year-old Roper, of Jonesboro, Georgia, hadn't slept for more than 24 hours before the accident. Wal-Mart has said it believes he was in compliance with federal safety regulations.
The 45-year-old Morgan suffered a broken femur, a broken nose and several broken ribs. His friend and fellow comedian James McNair was killed, and two other passengers were seriously injured. Another passenger was treated and released from the hospital Saturday, and the limo driver and one more passenger weren't injured.
Morgan underwent surgery for his broken leg and remained in critical but stable condition Tuesday.