Entertainment TV 30 Rock star coping with injuries, death of friend

30 Rock star coping with injuries, death of friend

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Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan is recovering in hospital after surgery on a broken leg suffered in a fatal pile-up on the New Jersey Turnpike.

The 45-year-old former Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock cast member remains in critical condition but is “more responsive” post-surgery, his spokesman Lewis Kay said on Sunday.

Morgan was returning from a stand-up performance in Delaware when a truck smashed into the back of his chauffeured limo bus, authorities said, setting off a chain-reaction crash that left one member of his entourage dead and two others seriously hurt.

Kay said Morgan also sustained a broken femur, broken nose and several broken ribs.

Morgan’s family was “tremendously overwhelmed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from his fans”, he said.

A Wal-Mart truck driver from Georgia has been charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.

Authorities said Kevin Roper, 35, apparently failed to slow for traffic ahead early on Saturday in Cranbury Township and swerved at the last minute to avoid a crash.

Instead, his big rig crashed into the back of Morgan’s Mercedes limo bus, authorities said, killing comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair and critically injuring Morgan’s assistant Jeffrey Millea and another comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr.

The limo bus driver, Tyrone Gale, told ABC News he was disoriented after the vehicle flipped over and could hear Morgan yelling for help.

“I climbed around and heard Tracy screaming for help,” Gale said.

“I climbed up on the body of the limo bus … but I couldn’t reach them.”

Roper, accompanied by his lawyer, turned himself in to state police.

He was released on $US50,000 ($A54,097) bail on Saturday night and placed on administrative leave, a Wal-Mart spokesman said.

Wal-Mart President Bill Simon said in a statement the company “will take full responsibility” if authorities determine its truck caused the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board is working with state police to look at any issues in the crash related to commercial trucking and limousine safety.

Six vehicles were involved in the pile-up, but no one from the other cars was injured.