Trucker In Tracy Morgan Crash Didn't Sleep, Records Say; Court On Wednesday

Kevin Roper was released from custody on Saturday after posting $50,000 bail.

Kevin Roper/State Police photo
Kevin Roper/State Police photo
A Georgia man charged with death-by-auto in a Middlesex County, N.J. crash that critically injured actor-comedian Tracy Morgan is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Kevin Roper, 35, of JonesboroGa. who is scheduled to appear for a hearing at the Middlesex County Courthouse at 3 p.m., allegedly didn't sleep for 24 hours before the crash, according to NJ.com.

Roper was released from custody on Saturday after posting $50,000 bail.

Senate President Steve Sweeney, who sponsored “Maggie’s Law,” issued the following statement today regarding charges filed against the driver:

“The driver is entitled to his day in court, but if these allegations are true, it is a startling reminder of why ‘Maggie’s Law’ was necessary in the first place.  The effects of sleep deprivation can be just as hazardous as those of drugs and alcohol.  When people go without sleep and get behind the wheel, they are putting their lives and the lives of everyone they encounter on the road in danger.

“As the investigation into this crash continues, we hope for a full recovery for those still in the hospital.  We also hope that out of this tragedy will come further examination and discussion on how we prevent people from driving sleep deprived.”

“Maggie’s Law,” signed into law in 2003, made it a crime to knowingly get behind the wheel of a car if you have been awake for longer than 24 hours. Anyone doing so and causing a fatal car accident can be charged with vehicular homicide. Maggie's Law originated in 1997 when 20-year-old Maggie McDonald was killed when a driver crossed three lanes of traffic and hit her car head on.  The driver had been awake for over 24 hours.

Joe R June 10, 2014 at 12:14 PM
In addition, driving a big rig is a hell of a lot more demanding physically and psychologically than driving a car. Stopping distances are much longer, the noise of the rig is much more than a car, you have more things to worry about, more wheels to tend to, etc. A truck driver gets more tired and faster than someone driving a car, it's a whole different universe. A truck driver probably needs more sleep than the average driver but instead he is under pressure to meet a time schedule or lose his job.
Andy Schmidt June 10, 2014 at 12:32 PM
24 hrs!? WTF - how about lowering this to 16 hours? If the driver is still awake after 16 hrs, (s)he should be watching TV, not traffic. Next, make carting companies directly liable for monitoring the on/off hours of any drivers they employ or subcontract.
jkiwior June 10, 2014 at 02:49 PM
Trucking companies are 100% held accountable for the hours of service for every one of their drivers and the DOT is over-regulating the trucking industry making it impossible for transportation companies to even survive in this economy. It is too broad a stoke to claim that the GOP wants to eliminate regulations. They want to stop the FMCSA from imposing regulations that make so sense, like the 34 hour mid-week restart time for all drivers that work weekends. Sleep is sleep and no one is saying that proper rest time should not be mandated, however it is not our government's place to pressure drivers not to work on weekends or else force them to take a consecutive 2 day break mid-week. Why can't a driver simply work 5 days of choice while adhering the the hours of service limitation rules and take off 2 days of choice each week? They can't because the FMCSA passed a ridiculous mid-week restart rule for all drivers working on Sat and Sun. They did this without proper research making it illegal and it is this rule that the GOP wants to have repealed. No matter how many rules and regulation are put in place, there will always be someone who thinks the rules do not apply to them and this is the same in any industry. Go after the offenders, don't create more bureaucracy.
I plead the 2nd tchk tchk June 24, 2014 at 09:11 PM
How do you guys even know what happened? How do you know tracey's limo didn't cut in front of the truck and slam on the brakes? give this truck driver a chance? This no sleeping for 24 hours business is probably just a mistake in the log book. but who knows. you guys don't.
Brian N June 24, 2014 at 09:27 PM
I'm pretty sure all of the facts will be in the police report and the driver wouldn't be charged if they weren't sure. But the driver is innocent until proven guilty


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »