NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was critically injured Saturday after a semitrailer truck rammed into his chauffeured limousine bus, setting off a chain-reaction crash that left a fellow comedian dead and two others seriously hurt, authorities said.
Truck driver Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Ga., was charged with death by auto in the crash that killed a man described as a mentor to the former Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock cast member as the group traveled home from a standup comedy show in Delaware, officials said.
James McNair, 62, of Peekskill, N.Y., who performed as Jimmy Mack, died after the Mercedes limo bus carrying seven people overturned on the New Jersey Turnpike near Cranbury Township about 1 a.m., state police Sgt. 1st Class Greg Williams said.
Morgan, 45, and Jeffrey Millea, 36, of Shelton, Conn., were flown from the accident scene to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, where they were in critical condition, hospital spokesman Peter Haigney said.
Morgan remained in the intensive care unit at the hospital Saturday night and spokesman Lewis Kay said that his family was with him and he was "receiving excellent care."
A fourth passenger, comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr., was in critical condition, while a fifth passenger, comic Harris Stanton, was treated and released.
Police said the semitrailer swerved at the last minute to avoid a crash but smashed into the back of the limo, prompting a crash with a second semitrailer, an SUV and two cars.