Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “What if the medical condition improves before the hearing?”
A recent accident in New Jersey involving actor and comedian Tracy Morgan highlights the extreme dangers posed by exhausted drivers. The crash earlier this month left the former 30 Rock star in critical condition and has now led to criminal charges for the driver of the tractor-trailer responsible for the accident.
Police say the chain-reaction crash began when a tractor-trailer driver, Kevin Roper, collided with Morgan’s chauffeured limousine bus. Morgan was heading back home from a comedy show in Delaware with a group of friends at the time. The accident spread out across the interstate and left one member of Morgan’s entourage dead and two others critically injured. Morgan and the others were airlifted to nearby hospitals for treatment and several remain in intensive care even now.
The driver of the truck has been charged with death by auto and also faces four counts of assault by auto related to the crash. The trucker was given a $50,000 bail and has now hired an attorney to fight for his freedom.
Given the seriousness of the crash and the involvement of a commercial motor vehicle, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board stepped in to examine what may have caused the accident. A recent report issued by the NTSB says that the driver of the rig that slammed into Morgan’s van was speeding at the time of the crash and was likely exhausted from working more than 13 consecutive hours.
The semi was traveling at more than 65 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone down the New Jersey Turnpike. Prior to the crash the driver had logged 13 hours and 32 minutes on duty. Though the driver was still within the legal limits, the timing of the accident at 1 a.m. combined with a long day of driving likely led to disaster.
Under current laws, truckers are permitted to work for up to 14 hours. Though Roper was barely below this threshold, experts indicate that he likely would have exceeded the limit had the accident not cut his journey short. Additionally, reports from the New Jersey State Police say that the man had gone without sleep for more than 24 hours immediately prior to the accident.
This kind of exhaustion and sleep deprivation has proven deadly time and time again. Sleep deprivation leads to behaviors similar to intoxication, with clouded judgment, slowed reaction times and poor hand-eye coordination.
If you, or someone you know, have any questions regarding personal injury claims, please feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys and lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina at Arnold & Smith, PLLC for a free consultation. Call at 704-370-2828 or click here for additional resources.
About the Author:
Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.
In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.
“Driver charged in crash that injured Tracy Morgan, killed 1,” by The Associated Press, published at WNCT.com.
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