Savannah, GA- The New Jersey Turnpike truck accident that left actor/comedian Tracy Morgan in critical condition was initially attributed to the fatigue which set off a firestorm in the media over trucking regulation. But a now a preliminary investigation from the National Traffic Safety Board finds that speed, instead of fatigue, was the primary cause of the June 7 accident, which resulted in the death of comedy writer James McNair.
According to the results of the NTSB’s preliminary investigation, released today, the driver of the Walmart truck going 65 mph in the 60 seconds prior to slamming into the limo van carrying Morgan and four others, the Star Ledger reported. Because of road construction, the posted speed limit on that particular stretch of the NJ Turnpike was 45 mph.
After the accident, investigators said that the driver had been awake for 24 hours prior to the collision, though they didn’t say how they came up with that conclusion.
The report also found that the driver, Kevin Roper, had been on shift that day for 13 hours and 23 minutes. However he logged only 9 hours and 35 minutes behind the wheel, below the federal limit of 11 hours driving time in a single 14 hour work day.
Days before the accident, a Senate appropriations committee voted to suspend the restart rule of federal trucking regulations meant to help combat driver fatigue. The suspension of the restart rule was put on hold after the accident and it’s unclear whether the results of the NTSB study will affect that.
Last week Roper, a Georgia native, pleaded not guilty to one count of death by auto and four counts of assault.
While Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration determined that fatigue plays a role in 13 percent of fatal truck accidents, speed is by far a larger contributor to deadly crashes.
Traveling at a high rate of speed can make it difficult for a truck driver to stop before they collide with another vehicle, especially in work zones and during times of heavy traffic. Speed can cause a driver to lose control of their truck and hydroplane, jackknife or run off the road. When a truck driver is driving too fast for conditions and causes an accident, they can be held accountable for the deaths or injuries that occur as a result of their negligent actions.
When you have been injured in a Georgia truck accident, you are probably unsure what you need to do next. You know you are going to need help covering your medical bills or funeral expenses for a deceased loved one, but you don’t know where the help is going to come from. If you hire a Savannah truck accident attorney you won’t have to worry about how to pay your bills because they takes the steps necessary to assure you get a generous settlement.
Time is of the essence in any injury or wrongful death claim so don’t hesitate to contact a Savannah truck accident attorney to begin working on your case immediately.