30 Rock star Morgan badly hurt in accident
AMERICAN actor Tracy Morgan, known for his Emmy-nominated turn on television comedy 30 Rock, was critically injured in a six-vehicle crash in New Jersey that killed one of his friends.
The incident occurred as the 45-year-old Morgan, a former star of Saturday Night Live, was heading home from a stand-up performance in the state of Delaware. At around 1am on Saturday (1pm Singapore time), a tractor-trailer slammed into the back of his luxury van, overturning it and setting off a chain reaction that involved four other vehicles.
When emergency workers arrived, they found Morgan critically injured. Another comedian, James McNair, was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other comedians and Morgan's assistant were injured.
A Georgia truck driver - identified as Kevin Roper - was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto, local media said.
Preliminary investigation by the state police found that Roper, 35, who was travelling north in the centre lane of the highway, failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead of him.
"Tracy remains in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. He sustained these injuries in an accident that occurred early this morning (Saturday) as one of several passengers in a chauffeured SUV returning from a tour date in Delaware," said Lewis Kay, the actor's spokesman. "His family is now with him and he is receiving excellent care."
Three other people besides Morgan were hospitalised, two of them in critical condition, a hospital spokesman said.
The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it was "sending investigators to the scene".
Morgan - who performed on Friday night at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Delaware - was nominated for an Emmy in 2009 for his role in 30 Rock, which also starred Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin.
On 30 Rock, a show about the cast and writers of a comedy show resembling Saturday Night Live, he played Tracy Jordan, a caricature of himself.
The programme ended its seven-season run early last year. Morgan appeared on Saturday Night Live from 1996 to 2003.