NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — While Tracy Morgan remains in critical condition, his publicist has issued a statement saying the actor/comedian is responsive and expected to remain in the hospital for several weeks. Lewis Kay, Morgan’s rep, released this statement Sunday:
While Tracy remains in critical condition, he has been more responsive today, which is an incredibly encouraging sign.
“He sustained a number of injuries including a broken leg, a broken femur, a broken nose and several broken ribs. He had surgery earlier today on his leg. We expect him to remain in the hospital for several weeks. His family is tremendously overwhelmed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from his fans.”
Morgan and two members of his entourage were in critical condition Sunday, a day after a tractor-trailer rammed into his chauffeured limousine bus on the New Jersey Turnpike, setting off a deadly chain-reaction pileup.
The former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” cast member was returning from a standup show in Delaware early Saturday with six others when the limo bus overturned, killing Morgan’s mentor and fellow comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair. The tractor-trailer driver, Kevin Roper, was charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.
Jeffrey Millea, of Shelton, Connecticut, and comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr. were listed in critical condition along with Morgan at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, hospital spokeswoman Zenaida Mendez said Sunday. Another comedian, Harris Stanton, was treated and released from the hospital Saturday.
Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Georgia, apparently failed to slow for traffic ahead and swerved at the last minute to avoid a crash, authorities said.
Instead, the big rig smashed into the back of the Mercedes limo bus, prompting a chain-reaction crash with a second tractor-trailer, an SUV and two cars, authorities said.
Roper’s bail was set at $50,000. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney.
Wal-Mart President Bill Simon said in a statement that one of the company’s trucks was involved and that the company “will take full responsibility” if authorities determine its truck caused the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was working with state police to look at any issues in the crash related to commercial trucking and limousine safety.
Morgan’s limo was owned by Atlantic Transportation Services, which said it had one employee behind the wheel and a second in the front passenger seat. Neither was injured.
“Although the investigation is still pending, we concur with the preliminary reports that the accident was caused by another vehicle traveling behind the Atlantic limo bus,” the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware-based company said.
Fuqua had tweeted that he was opening for Morgan on Friday night at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Delaware. On his Instagram page, Fuqua included a collage of photos from the show.
“This is what it looks like from the stage to see a standing ovation from 1500 people,” Fuqua wrote at around midnight Friday. “Then we traveled back to NYC in style in a luxury Mercedes Sprinter. Road life is a good life!”
McNair, 62, of Peekskill, New York, was a close friend and mentor to Morgan, Morgan’s ex-wife, Sabina Morgan, told the New York Daily News. “He was one of the first comedians that took Tracy under his wing,” she said. “They were very close.”
Royale Watkins, a Los Angeles-based comedian who said he had performed in New York clubs with Morgan and McNair, described McNair as having a big personality.
“There may be guys like Tracy who get the fame and notoriety, but you have people like Jimmy Mack who have kind of energized and fueled cats like Tracy and kept them going on the road,” Watkins said.
Morgan, a New York City native, joined “SNL” in 1996 and left to star in “The Tracy Morgan Show” in 2003. That show lasted just one season. In 2006, Morgan found a long-running role on NBC’s hit show “30 Rock,” which was created by “SNL” co-star Tina Fey. He received an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor for “30 Rock” in 2009.
Celebrating Dads Who Make Us Laugh
1. 1. Happy Father's Day to Bill Bellamy who has a daughter, Bailey and son, Baron. (PR Photos)1 of 24
2. 2. Happy Father's Day to our own funny man, J. Anthony Brown, father of three. (TJMS)2 of 24
3. 3. Happy Father's Day to D.L. Hughley, father of three - Tyler, Ryan and Kyle. (PR Photos)3 of 24
4. 4. Happy Father's Day to Rickey Smiley who has two biological kids and eight adopted children.4 of 24
5. 5. Happy Father's Day to Katt Williams who has eight children, one biological and seven adopted. (Retna)5 of 24
6. 6. Happy Father's Day to Dave Chappelle, father of three - two sons, Sulayman and Ibrahim and daughter Sonal. (Retna)6 of 24
7. 7. Happy Father's Day to Charlie Murphy, father of two, Xavier and Ava. (PR Photos)7 of 24
8. 8. Happy Father's Day to Paul Mooney, father of three - Shane, Dwayne and Daryl. (PR Photos)8 of 24
9. 9. Happy Father's Day to Mark Curry, father of two daughters. (PR Photos)9 of 24
10. 10. Happy Father's Day to Sinbad, father of two - a son and a daughter. (PR Photos)10 of 24
11. 11. Happy Father's Day to Cedric the Entertainer, father of three - Croix, Lucky Rose and Tiara. (PR Photos)11 of 24
12. 12. Happy Father's Day to Tracy Morgan, father of three sons. (PR PHotos)12 of 24
13. 13. Happy Father's Day to Chris Tucker who has a son, Destin Christopher Tucker. (PR Photos)13 of 24
14. 14. Happy Father's Day to Eddie Murphy, Dad of 8 - Christian,Eric, Bria, Shayne Audra, Myles, Bella Zahra, Zola Ivy & Angel Iris.14 of 24
15. 15. Happy Father's Day to Kevin Hart, father of two - Heaven Lee and Hendrix. (PR Photos)15 of 24
16. 16. Happy Father's Day to Chris Rock, father of two daughers - Lola Simone and Zahra Savannah. (PR Photos)16 of 24
17. 17. Happy Father's Day to Damon Wayans, father of four - Damon Jr., Michael, Cara Mia and Kyla. (PR Photos)17 of 24
18. 18. Happy Father's Day to Shawn Wayans, father of three - Laila, Illia and Marlon. (AP)18 of 24
19. 19. Happy Father's Day to Marlon Wayans, father of two - Shawn Howell and Amai Zackary. (PR Photos)19 of 24
20. 20. Happy Father's Day to Keenen Ivory Wayans, father of five - Jolie, Nala, Keenen, Jr., Bella and Daphne. (PR)20 of 24
21. 21. Happy Father's Day to Bill Cosby, father to Erika, Erinn, Ensa, Evin and Son Ennis who passed away. (AP)21 of 24
22. 22. Happy Father's Day to John Witherspoon who has two sons - John David and Alexander (David Letterman is their Godfather). (PR)22 of 24
23. 23. Happy Father's Day to Martin Lawrence, father of three daughters - Jasmine, Iyanna and Amara Trinity. (PR)23 of 24
24. 24. Happy Father's Day to Flex Alexander, father of two - daughter Imani Shekinah Alexander-Knox and son Elijah Alexander-Knox.24 of 24