The Case Of Tracey Morgan: A Lesson For Kentucky Drivers Semi-Truck Rear End Crashes

It made headlines across the country: "Tracey Morgan," famous comedian and actor on the popular program "3rdRock," was seriously injured due to a Walmart semi-truck rear ending his limousine. The serious injury and fatal crash caused a four car pile up on the New Jersey Turnpike. Not only was Morgan seriously injured, but his good friend and fellow comedian James "Jimmy Mack" McNair had been killed. Three other individuals who were riding in Morgan's limo were also injured. Although this accident happened in June of this year, Morgan is still recovering from his injuries, which included a broken leg, broken nose and broken ribs.

Kevin Roper, an employee of Walmart, had been driving the semi-truck when he rear ended Morgan's limo on the New Jersey Turnpike at 1:00 a.m. in the morning. Truck drivers are required to keep electronic logs to estimate the time that they are continuously driving, which is a system designed to prevent truck drivers from driving while fatigued and potentially causing fatal wrecks. According to the National Transportation Board Report, Roper's electronic driver log information showed that on June 6, 2014, he went on duty at 11:22 a.m., where he made several stops throughout throughout the day. He then left a Walmart facility in Pennsylvania around 12:20 a.m. on his way to New Jersey when he rear ended Morgan's Limo. Roper could not substantiate that he had slept in the 24 hours before the accident.

Federal Regulations governing semi-truck drivers allow drivers to drive a maximum of 14 consecutive hours. Roper had logged in 13 hours and 32 minutes at the time of the accident. The federal government had been aware of these types of serious accidents, which had prompted them to change the federal regulations to limit the truckers' weekly hours from 82 to 70. Research compiled by the Institute of Highway Safety's website has found that semi-truck drivers behind the wheel for more than eight hours are twice as likely to crash. Drivers who admitted that they were driving longer than they should have were more likely to have fallen asleep behind the wheel. Credible research has also found that fatigue is a major contributing factor in many of these large truck crashes.

Although this accident made headline news because of the famous people involved, rear end collisions caused by semi-trucks happen more often than we think. In fact, the statistics associated with truck accidents are nothing short of alarming. In the United States, over 3,500 people perished in truck related collisions in 2012. Of these deaths, approximately seventeen percent were truck drivers and/or their occupants, over 65 percent were other vehicle passengers, and 15 percent were those on bicycles, motorcycles, and on foot. In fatal two-vehicle crashes involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck, over 95 percent of all fatalities were drivers and occupants in passenger vehicles. Large trucks were involved in 10 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths and 23 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in multiple-vehicle crashes.

As you are driving down the interstate or roads in Kentucky, think of the number of times that have you seen a truck driver acting negligently and potentially endangering your life and/or the lives of those around you. If you or your loved one has been seriously injured as a result of semi-truck accident, call the experienced attorneys at Goeing Goeing McQuinn PLLC for a free consultation.

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