A truck driver's fatigue -- exacerbated by his decision to drive 12 hours to work before he even started his 14-hour shift -- is the probable cause of the June 2014 crash that killed comedian James McNair and seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan in New Jersey, federal officials said Tuesday.
The NTSB said the truck's driver was traveling 20 miles over the speed limit and had been driving for 28 hours straight, at the time of the crash.
Contributing to the severity of the injuries, the National Transportation Safety Board said, was the failure by McNair, Morgan and their fellow passengers in a limo van to use seat belts and properly adjusted head restraints.
A Walmart truck driven by Kevin Roper rear-ended the limo van, which was carrying seven people, shortly before 1 a.m. on the New Jersey Turnpike on June 7, 2014.
The crash killed McNair -- known as "Jimmy Mack" -- and seriously injured four other passengers, including former "Saturday Night Live" performer Morgan, who was left with a brain injury.
Wal-Mart settled lawsuits filed by both Mcnair's family and Morgan in connection to the crash.
Morgan said he does not remember the crash itself and has still not been able to return to work but hopes to do so.
“I love comedy. I can’t wait to get back to her. But right now my goal is just to heal and get better. I’m not 100% yet,” he said.
Morgan was in a coma following the accident, and suffered multiple broken bones and brain trauma. He said he has good days and bad days, the latter when he forgets things and has headaches. But he said the emotional loss has been more difficult than the physical injury.
“Bones heal. The loss of my friend will never heal,” he said.