Walmart says it will take “full responsibility” if their truck was the cause of the New Jersey crash that killed 62-year-old comedian James McNair and critically injured Tracy Morgan, Jeffrey Millea and Ardie Fuqua.
“The facts are continuing to unfold," Walmart CEO Bill Simon said Saturday. "If it’s determined that our truck caused the accident, Walmart will take full responsibility."
The six-vehicle crash allegedly occurred when a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel. Morgan’s 2012 Mercedes Sprinter was the only vehicle that flipped over in the collision.
Morgan, 45, his assistant Millea, 36, and comedian Ardie Fuqua, 43, were still in criticual condition Sunday morning.
Walmart truck driver Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, Ga., was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office said.
His bail is set at $50,000, Sgt. Gregory Williams of New Jersey State Police told CNN.
“This is a tragedy and we are profoundly sorry that one of our trucks was involved,” Simon said in a release. “We are working quickly to understand what happened and are cooperating fully with law enforcement to aid their investigation.”
Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to suspend federal regulations requiring truck drivers to take a break after reaching a weekly drive limit of 70 hours. The amendment dashed a 15-year effort to reduce highway fatalities caused by truckers who fall asleep at the wheel, Bloomberg reported.
The amendment will be attached to a larger six-year $265 billion transportation funding bill headed to the full Senate for a vote.