The Wal-Mart trucker accused of causing a deadly crash on the New Jersey Turnpike was free on bail Sunday while former 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan clung to life with injuries sustained in the tragedy.
Two other men also remained in critical condition a day after the wreck near Cranbury Township that killed Morgan's friend and comedic mentor, James "Jimmy Mack" McNair. Morgan, 45, was airlifted immediately after the crash to Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in nearby New Brunswick, N.J.
State Police said truck driver Kevin Roper failed to see slow-moving traffic. The truck slammed into a 2012 Mercedes Sprinter, a limousine bus carrying Morgan and several others, setting off a chain-reaction crash involving another tractor-trailer, an SUV and two cars, authorities said. All the victims were in the limousine.
Roper, 35, was released on $50,000 bail Saturday night, Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar said Sunday. Roper, of Jonesboro, Ga., faces charges including death by auto and four counts of assault by auto, Middlesex County, N.J., prosecutors said.
Morgan, who previously starred in Saturday Night Live, had been returning from a stand-up comedy show in Delaware. Jeffrey Millea, 36, of Shelton, Conn., and comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr., 43, were listed in critical condition along with Morgan, hospital spokeswoman Zenaida Mendez said Sunday. Comic Harris Stanton was treated and released from the hospital Saturday.
Wal-Mart President Bill Simon issued a statement saying the company was "profoundly sorry that one of our trucks was involved." He said Wal-Mart would take full responsibility if it was determined that its truck caused the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating. Morgan's limo was owned by Atlantic Transportation Services, which issued a statement Saturday extending its "sincerest condolences" to the victims and their families. The firm said it had one employee behind the wheel and a second in the front passenger sea.
"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, Del.-based company said.
Morgan, a New York City native, worked on SNL from 1996 to 2003. He joined the cast of NBC's comedy 30 Rock in 2006, receiving an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor in 2009. McNair, 62, was from Peekskill, N.Y.
Contributing: Jayme Deerwester; Associated Press