Monday, January 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Feds say trucker in Morgan crash was speeding

By
From page B2 | June 20, 2014 |

NEWARK, N.J. — The driver of a tractor-trailer that plowed into a limousine van carrying comedian Tracy Morgan and several friends, killing one and severely injuring Morgan and two others, was speeding in the final moments before the crash, according to a preliminary report released Thursday.

Wal-Mart driver Kevin Roper was going 65 mph in a 45 mph zone just before the June 7 crash on the New Jersey Turnpike, according to the National Transportation Safety Board’s report. The crash killed 62-year-old James McNair of Peekskill, New York.

The NTSB used the truck’s electronic engine-control system to calculate how fast Roper was driving.

“A preliminary review of the data showed that the Peterbilt combination vehicle was traveling at 65 mph for the 60 seconds preceding the collision with the Mercedes-Benz limo van,” the report concluded.

Traffic was slowed by construction that blocked two of the highway’s three northbound lanes. According to the NTSB report, a sign warned of the lane closures about a mile south of where the accident occurred, and another sign a half-mile closer directed motorists to reduce their speed from 55 mph to 45 mph.

According to a Turnpike authority spokesman, the speed limit in that stretch of the highway has been lowered from 65 mph to 55 mph since a widening project began in 2009.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. trucks are equipped with devices that limit the vehicles’ speed to 65 mph, a spokeswoman said, so Roper was going at the top speed possible.

Drivers are required to follow the posted speed limit under Wal-Mart policy, spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said Thursday. “Of course we expect our drivers to comply with the laws, whether it’s a speed limit, or (something else),” she said.

She otherwise declined to comment on the report, citing the ongoing investigation.

Messages left Thursday at several phone numbers listed for Roper’s attorney were not immediately returned.

The truck struck Morgan’s limo from behind, sending it into other vehicles and eventually onto its side. Morgan is hospitalized in fair condition with a broken leg and other injuries.

Morgan’s assistant, Jeffrey Millea, of Shelton, Connecticut, has also been upgraded to fair condition, according to Morgan’s spokesman. Hospital officials said Monday that comedian Ardie Fuqua, of Jersey City, remains in critical condition.

Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Georgia, has pleaded not guilty to death by auto and assault by auto charges. A criminal complaint accuses him of not sleeping for more than 24 hours before the crash, a violation of New Jersey law.

The NTSB report said investigators were still probing Roper’s activities in the days leading up to the crash to determine the amount of rest he received.

It concluded that Roper left a Wal-Mart facility in Smyrna, Delaware, at about 11:30 a.m. on June 6 and made stops in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania during the day. Just after midnight on June 7 he left Bristol, Pennsylvania, en route to Perth Amboy, New Jersey, when the crash happened about 30 minutes into his trip.

The timetable appears to show Roper wasn’t in violation of federal rules that permit truck drivers to work up to 14 hours a day, with a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel. He had been on duty about 13½ hours at the time of the accident, according to the report.

However, he would have at least neared the 14-hour work limit if he had made it to Perth Amboy.

In response to the findings, the Teamsters Union urged Congress not to ease laws that limit truck drivers to 60 to 70 hours of work each week. The Senate is considering a resolution that would extend the maximum to 80 hours per week.

“The NTSB’s preliminary findings in this case clearly show that truck drivers are pushing beyond the limits of the current hours of service rules,” Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa said.

Roper is suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. He had worked for Wal-Mart since February, but applicants must have 250,000 lifetime miles driving a tractor-trailer, and 50,000 miles within the past three years, to be hired, Buchanan said.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Teen finds entrepreneurial path at young age

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Time for Relay for Life kickoff event

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
Suisun Senior Center offers monthly dance

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
 
Wedding Faire offers one-stop browsing for couples

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Crab feed tradition continues this week

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Local government agencies post meeting times

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Fairfield schedules workshop on downtown plan

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
.

US / World

 
Santa Ana winds knock out power to thousands in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Boy shot by Los Angeles deputies treated for graze wound

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

US gas prices fell 13 cents per gallon, but expected to rise

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
2 Marines identified in deadly California helicopter crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Ukraine: Phone calls prove rebels attacked city, killed 30

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Zambia: Edgar Lungu sworn in as new president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Greek radical left wins election, threatening market turmoil

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
‘Potentially historic’ storm headed for Northeast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Balloon crew launches in bid to break 2 major records

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Obama: Counterterrorism operations in Yemen not affected

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Obama to seek wilderness designation for Alaska refuge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Zoo offers creepy way for lovelorn to get even with exes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Opinion

Democracy or republic?

By Earl Heal | From Page: A8, 7 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 26, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Do elected officials get it?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 16 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Jan. 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Jan. 26, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscope Jan. 27, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
My sister is jobless and homeless and I’m not sure how to help

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
Horoscope Jan. 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Miss Colombia crowned Miss Universe in Miami

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

‘Birdman’ tops SAG Awards, Redmayne upsets Keaton

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Complete list of winners at 21st annual SAG Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

TVGrid Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Sports

Serena Williams to meet Cibulkova in Aussie Open quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Watt gets 2 turnovers, dances in friendly Pro Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Tavares scores 4, Team Toews outscores Team Foligno, 17-12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Curry leads Warriors to 19th straight home win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Family attorney: Cubs great Ernie Banks died of heart attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bill Haas pulls away to win Humana Challenge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jeff Gordon to be Fox guest analyst during XFINITY season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sherman doubts any punishment ahead for Patriots

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Source: Browns WR Josh Gordon fails another drug test

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Interview: Selig says MLB could expand internationally

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Coach K gets 1,000th win as No. 5 Duke tops St. John’s 77-68

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Quinn has led Seattle to record-setting defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chip Ganassi Racing’s ‘star car’ wins Rolex 24 at Daytona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots’ Browner gets a 2nd chance at a Super Bowl ring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Don Johnson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 8 Comments

 
Thomas Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Bridge Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Beetle Bailey Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Pickles Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Garfield Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C. Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sudoku Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Cryptoquote Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword Jan 26

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7