Kevin Roper says he’s grief-stricken over the six-car pileup that left a comedian dead and four other men, including 30 Rock actor Tracy Morgan, gravely injured. But, the long-haul trucker argues, allegations that he caused the accident after failing to getting sufficient rest in the days leading up to Saturday’s crash are “BS.”
Tracy, 45, was on his way home from comedy show at Delaware’s Dover Downs Casino when his Mercedes limo bus was hit by a Walmart tractor-trailer with Roper behind the wheel. The bus overturned on the New Jersey Turnpike, just outside Cranbury.
Comedy writer James McNair, who performed under the name Jimmy Mack, was killed. Comedians Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton were among those injured.
New Jersey prosecutors charged Kevin Roper with vehicular homicide and four counts of assault by auto this week. In the criminal complaint, filed Sunday, police say Roper had been awake for more than 24 hours at the time of the crash. He failed to notice traffic slowing in front of him and hit Morgan’s bus after trying to swerve out of the way, according to authorities.
It’s unclear how officials determined that Roper was sleep deprived. Under New Jersey law, a driver can be convicted if he’d been without sleep for 24 hours.
Roper, 35, is out of jail on bond, pending trial. Now that he’s presumably unemployed, the former truck driver has been using his new-found free time tweeting. In a series of postings made public Tuesday, Roper sends his prayers to the accident victims, but hits back at claims that he was dozing behind the wheel of his big rig. Kevin believes he’s been turned into a scapegoat, thanks largely to Morgan’s notoriety and the media interest in the case.
– “First off my prayers go out to all the families that were affected my prayers to the man that passed away during the accident (Mr McNair) i wish it was me and i can’t express how horrible i feel.”
– “As for the accident i have some things to get off my chest that the media and police have neglected to report. First off i never said i was awake for 24 hours, not once did i say that to any law enforcement or media person.”
– “These are lies being spread because they are pressured to make an arrest as this accident was being covered ‘NATIONALLY’ because a famous person was involved. (sic)”.
– “Once again the accident was horrific and we lost a precious life, but please remember i was not drunk, high, (I was tested and passed) under any influence of any drug or alcohol, i had an ‘ACCIDENT’ which unfortunately occurred with a lot of media spotlight. If my ACCIDENT occurs with no media spotlight i am issued a few traffic tickets.”
– “The excuse of me being up 24 hours is complete BS! I was never charged at the scene of the accident because once again i was not guilty of any crime. Not until all the TV cameras came did the police all of a sudden make a determination i was up 24 hours (sounds good and sells papers) also covers their ass. So yes i am now most likely f**ked because i had an unfortunate ACCIDENT with the wrong car that night. (sic).”
Which one of you is going to tell Kevin that anything he says or tweets can be used against him in a court of law?