Tracy Morgan crash highlights dangers of tired drivers

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The crash that critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed comedian James McNair is highlighting what the government says is a leading cause of big rig wrecks - tired drivers.

Prosecutors say the driver of the tractor-trailer that plowed into the back of Morgan's limousine in New Jersey hadn't slept in 24 hours.

Carlos Cardenas teaches truck drivers at Metropolitan Trucking and Technical Institute in West Palm Beach and says if a driver isn't alert, it can be deadly.

"You see them over speeding trying to get from point A to point B faster," he says. "They do not rest enough and then fatigue comes in, and they are not ready for this."

Cardenas said the vast majority of truck drivers are responsible but a big teaching point is making sure they know how dangerous it can be if they aren't.

"The moment you feel fatigued, you understand it's time for you to stop and rest two to four hours, because it's not worth it, not to get there on time, but to get there," Cardenas says.

Kevin Roper is the driver accused of causing the wreck that injured Morgan.

There are federal rules in place on how long a driver can be behind the wheel.  Roper was employed with Walmart, who says he was following all of the laws at the time of the wreck.    

Cardenas says one of the best things other drivers can do on the roads is keep their distance.

"If the rest of the drivers learned just a little how to treat the truckers," he says. "Not to cut in front of them, not to be next to them.  If you cannot see the mirrors, the driver cannot see you."

Morgan is still listed in critical but stable condition Friday morning.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments