The driver that was behind the wheel of a Walmart truck when it struck a limo in which comedian Tracy Morgan was a passenger entered a not guilty plea in Middlesex County, NJ, on February 1, 2016.
The man was indicted by a grand jury in December 2015 and charged with eight counts of aggravated assault, first degree aggravated manslaughter and vehicular homicide as a result of the June 2014 crash on the New Jersey Turnpike.
NTSB Investigation Cites Fatigue
Fatigued driving is an issue in the case because the trucker drove 12 hours to work before the start of his 14-hour shift. In August 2015, a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation concluded that driver fatigue was a likely cause of the fatal crash. Comedian James McNair died in the crash, and Tracy Morgan remained in a coma for two weeks after the crash. Morgan’s attorneys negotiated a confidential settlement with Walmart in a subsequent civil case.
Ability to Get Fair Trial Questioned
The release of the NTSB findings before the trucker’s criminal trial is now itself an issue. The trucker’s attorneys plan to file a motion to dismiss the charges in the next month, according to a report in CNN. The legal team asserts that the published NTSB findings and Morgan’s civil suit and settlement compromised the trucker’s ability to get a fair trial.
When a person suffers injury or death due to negligent conduct on the nation’s roadways, victims and survivors have the right to seek compensation in the state’s civil courts. Injured victims often seek monetary damages for a variety of losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Survivors of those killed often seek compensation for loss of companionship as well.
If you or a family member is a victim in a traffic accident, it is possible to review the matter with a New Jersey personal injury attorney. Our firm provides such a consultation at no cost to you. To learn more about our services, please contact us.