A multi-vehicle wreck on the New Jersey Turnpike on June 7 claimed the life of one person and injured four others, including the actor and comedian Tracy Morgan. Altogether, six vehicles were involved in the auto accident, and the driver of a semi-truck that caused the incident was charged with four counts of assault by auto and one count of death by auto, according to authorities.
The incident occurred at approximately 1 a.m., when a Wal-Mart semi-truck driver failed to notice that traffic on the highway had slowed, authorities reported. The trucker, a 35-year-old man, reportedly made a futile attempt to avoid a collision, instead rear-ending a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van and spurring on a series of further collisions. A male passenger in the Mercedes-Benz van was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
Three other occupants of the van suffered critical injuries, including Morgan. The 45-year-old comedian was airlifted to Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, where his injuries warranted treatment in the intensive care unit, reportedly.
This accident highlights the catastrophic damage that accidents involving commercial big rigs can inflict upon the individuals and property involved. The people who suffer these damages may pursue civil remedies if the accident was caused by the actionable behavior of others, such as reckless or negligent drivers or the manufacturers of defective auto parts.
If, hypothetically, inadequate maintenance or insufficient driver training were factors in this particular crash, the people who suffered injuries, such as Morgan, may retain a personal injury lawyer and file suit against the responsible parties. In this way, accident victims may seek financial compensation for hospital bills, medical expenses, the costs associated with long-term rehabilitation and therapy and lost wages related to their injuries.
Source: USA Today, "Trucker charged in crash that injured Tracy Morgan", Jayme Deerwester, June 08, 2014