Morgan truck driver was speeding

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iol pic june 12 kevin roper-TRACYMORGAN_0611_11 REUTERS Truck driver Kevin Roper with defence attorney David Glassman during his hearing at a courthouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey on June 11, 2014. Photo: John Taggart

London - The truck driver who smashed into Tracy Morgan's limo bus was speeding at the time of the collision, federal officials have revealed.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a report released today (19.06.14) that Kevin Roper was driving 20 mph over the speed limit in the 60 seconds leading up the six-vehicle pile-up, which resulted in the '30 Rock' star being airlifted to hospital in a

critical condition, on the New Jersey Turnpike on June 7.

The NTSB said the speed limit had recently been lowered from 55 mph to 45 mph, but clearly sign posted, on the stretch where the fatal crash had taken place due to construction work ahead.

The investigators used the Walmart truck's electronic engine-control system to calculate how fast Mr. Roper was driving.

Officials also said in the report that Mr. Roper had been on duty for 13 hours and 32 minutes, which is half an hour short of the federal limit, and had been driving for nine hours and 37 minutes.

However, a criminal complaint lodged against Mr. Roper earlier this month claimed the 35-year-old truck driver hadn't slept for 24 hours.

The NTSB are still investigating how much rest he had.

Tracy, 45, sustained multiple injuries in the crash - including a broken leg, a broken femur, a broken nose and several broken ribs - but has made strong signs of improvement recently and is no longer in a critical condition.

The nasty collision killed a fellow passenger, comedian James McNair, who performed under the name Jimmy Mack, while comedians Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton were also among those injured.

Mr. Roper has been charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto in connection with the crash, but pleaded not guilty during an appearance at Middlesex County Superior Court in New Jersey last week.

Following the hearing, Mr. Roper was released on $50,000 bail. - BANG Showbiz

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