Driver in Tracey Morgan Turnpike crash: I can’t get a fair trial
The driver whose Walmart truck crashed into Tracey Morgan's limo on the New Jersey Turnpike, killing another passenger, is asking a judge to drop criminal charges, ABC News reports.
Attorney David Jay Glassman is arguing Kevin Roper can't get a fair trial after extensive media coverage, and after an NTSB report held Roper largely responsible. Glassman also told ABC he believes civil suits against Roper should have been postponed until after the criminal case was resolved.
Roper has pleaded not guilty to one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto in the crash. Comic James "Jimmy Mack" McNair was killed in the crash. Comic Ardie Fuqua, Morgan, and Morgan's assistant Jeffrey Millea were all severely injured.
"No accused can receive a fair trial, or any other due process requirements, if the criminal justice system under which an accused is tried leaves him at the mercy of the press," ABC reports Glassman said in court filings.
The NTSB found in a report issued last month that leading into the crash, Roper, had been on duty 13.5 hours of a 14-hour workday, but had been awake more than 28 hours.
“Hours-of-service rules cannot address what drivers do on their own time,” NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart said in a statement released at the time. The NTSB credited Walmart for taking steps to bolster driver fatigue education, and recommended the company implement a fatigue management program.
The NTSB also found serious injuries were due in part to a failure to use seatbelts and to properly adjust head restraints in the limo.