If you’re a follower of the news like we are, then there’s a good chance that you heard about the truck accident that injured actor and comedian Tracy Morgan last June. Though the accident happened in New Jersey, the crash grabbed national attention because it highlighted several safety issues for drivers on U.S. roadways, particularly the dangers of drowsy driving.
But this month, a few more safety issues were brought to light when the National Transportation Safety Board announced its final report on the crash. Although the NTSB confirmed that fatigue had been a major factor in the crash, several contributing factors made the crash more serious than it should have been. From unsafe modifications to the limousine to the failure of limousine occupants to wear seatbelts, the crash now stands as an example of how far we still have yet to go on safety standards in the United States.
The fatal crash that started it all
For those of our Washington D.C. readers who may be hearing about this news story for the first time, the crash occurred on June 7, 2014 on a New Jersey turnpike. The limousine, which was carrying Morgan and a handful of other comedians, was rear ended by a Wal-Mart truck driver who was not only speeding in a construction area but had not slept in 28 hours.
This collision set off a chain-reaction crash that involved six other vehicles, affecting 21 other people. All occupants in the limousine suffered serious injuries while one of its passengers, comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, suffered fatal injuries and died in the crash. So far, settlements have been reached with Morgan, three of the comedians in the limousine, as well as McNair’s family.
Source: CBS, “Driver Fatigue Cited as Cause of Crash That Injured Tracy Morgan,” Aug. 11, 2015