Driver fatigue cited as cause of crash that injured Tracy Morgan

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WASHINGTON  — The National Transportation Safety Board is blaming a fatigued Wal-Mart truck driver for a highway crash last year that severely injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed another comedian.

However, the board also said the failure of Morgan and other passengers riding in a limousine-van to wear seatbelts and adjusted headrests contributed to the severity of injuries when the limo was struck by the truck.

Investigators said that the driver, Kevin Roper of Jonesboro, Georgia, could have prevented the June 7, 2014 crash if he had slowed to 45 mph, the posted speed limit for the construction work zone on the New Jersey Turnpike where the crash occurred.

Investigators have said the truck was traveling at 65 mph and that it was slow to react to a sign lowering the speed limit to 45 mph in a construction zone. They also have said the truck was traveling at a rate of speed of 47 to 53 mph when it hit the limousine.

The collision killed Morgan’s fellow passenger, comedian James McNair — who performed under the name Jimmy Mack.

Comedians Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton were among the injured, as was a man named Jeffrey Millea.