Truck driver in Tracy Morgan crash was speeding

The driver of the Wal-Mart truck that crashed into Tracy Morgan’s limousine van June 7, killing one passenger and critically injuring the comedian and two others, had been driving for almost 10 hours and was going 65 mph in a 45-mph speed zone just before the crash, according to federal investigators.

“A preliminary review of the data showed that the (truck) was traveling at 65 mph for the 60 seconds preceding the collision with the Mercedes-Benz limo van,” the National Transportation Safety Board says in a preliminary report on the crash. “NTSB investigators are correlating these data with the physical evidence.”

The truck driver, Kevin Roper, has been charged with vehicular homicide and assault. He has pleaded not guilty. Morgan’s condition was upgraded to fair this week.

The preliminary report says that electronic log data show that Roper “had logged 9 hours 37 minutes of driving time when the crash occurred. With respect to the maximum 14-hour consecutive duty period for commercial motor vehicle drivers, the driver had logged 13 hours 32 minutes at the time of the collision.”

NTSB’s preliminary report says that the speed limit on the New Jersey Turnpike where the crash happened had been lowered from 55 mph to 45 mph because of construction work. The crash came as Congress considers rolling back tightened federal restrictions on hours-of-service and rest rules for commercial truckers.

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