WASHINGTON, November 20, 2014 – Tracy Morgan’s life changed on “a dime” when a June 7 car accident left Morgan seriously injured and killed friend and comedienne Jimmy “Mack” McNair. At the time of the accident Morgan’s injuries included broken ribs, nose and leg. Now it is being reported that the quick-witted funny man may be suffering from an ongoing brain injury.
Morgan’s lawyer reveals in a new interview that the comedian’s serious injuries might actually be something he cannot ever fully recover from. Benedict Morelli says that Morgan is “not the Tracy Morgan he once was.”
“When you have a traumatic brain injury, it takes a very long time to find out how you’re going to do and how much you’re going to recover,” Morelli says. “You just don’t know. He’s still fighting and trying to live his life at the same time and trying to get better, and he’s just not better. We’re hoping and praying to get him back to where he was. But the jury’s out.”
In early October, reports from doctors could not determine if Morgan would be able to work on stage or screen again and he was undergoing rehab therapies for speech, cognitive and physical injuries.
Morgan, formerly of “Saturday Night Live” and most recently of the hit series “30 Rock” was a passenger on a limo bus that was rear-ended by a Walmart truck on June 7. The chain-reaction wreck happened around 1 a.m. Morgan was riding with McNair and fellow comedians Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton, who along with Jeffrey Millea were also injured.
The Middlesex County Prosecutors’ Office charged Roper with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. Mercer was driving a Walmart tractor-trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike in Mercer County.
In July, Morgan and three others filed suit against Walmart, stating in a complaint that “the defendent’s negligence was a substantial contributing factor in causing plaintiffs’ injuries.”
The retailer responded in September by placing part of the blame on Morgan and the other passengers, saying that the injuries sustained were “caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs’ failure to properly wear an appropriate available seat belt restraint device.”
Preliminary reports by the National Transportation Safety Board showed the Walmart truck was traveling 20 mph over the speed limit, and that its driver was almost at his drive-time limit.
The driver who was operating the Walmart truck, Kevin Roper, has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges.
Morgan, who spent weeks in the hospital and rehabilitation following the crash, showed gratitude to his fans in September for their continued support.
“I want to thank my fans for sticking with me during this difficult time,” the “SNL” veteran said. “I love you all. I’m fighting hard every day to get back.”