Wal-Mart: Driver in fatal wreck had worked within hours regulations

by: Tom Regan Updated:

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ATLANTA - A truck driver involved in a New Jersey wreck that killed a man and injured comedian and actor Tracy Morgan worked within federal hours of service regulations, a Wal-Mart representative said.

The statement was released following a complaint filed that said the driver had been awake for 24 hours prior to the crash at 1 a.m. Saturday.

“With regards to news reports that suggest Mr. Roper was working for 24 hours, it is our belief that Mr. Roper was operating within the federal hours of service regulations. The details are the subject of the ongoing investigation and we are cooperating fully with the appropriate law enforcement agencies. The investigation is ongoing and unfortunately we can’t comment further on the specifics,” Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said.

Federal law requires drivers to work no more than 14 hours for any shift and 11 hours of driving, she added.

The wreck killed comedian James McNair, who used the stage name Jimmy Mack. He was a passenger in the vehicle with Morgan.

Morgan is listed in critical condition and is expected to remain hospitalized for the next several weeks.

Three other people were injured in the accident.

Kevin Roper, 35, has been charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto for the wreck, which happened on the New Jersey Turnpike.