Many people in Kay and Osage Counties probably heard about the tragic truck accident that badly injured actor and comedian Tracy Morgan. Morgan was riding in a limousine when a tractor-trailer smashed into the vehicle. Morgan suffered a broken leg, broken ribs and a brain injury. Six other people were also injured in the crash, and one man, comedian James McNair, died as a result of the injuries that he suffered in the crash.
Now, just shy of one year removed from the horrific fatal accident, Morgan has settled a lawsuit that he filed after the crash. Wal-Mart was the defendant in that lawsuit, because the retail giant owned the truck that slammed into the limousine. Although the terms of the settlement were undisclosed, Morgan's attorney has praised the company for their role in assuming responsibility in the settlement.
Morgan is still trying to recover from his injuries and has not been able to get back to what he does best, making people laugh. The accident is a stark reminder of the carnage that motor vehicle accidents can cause. But it also touches on another big issue that plays into far too many accidents, driver fatigue. Prosecutors have criminally charged the driver of the Wal-Mart truck. They alleged that he had not slept in 24 hours at the time of the accident, which violates federal trucking regulations.
Because Morgan is such a popular figure, the fatal trucking accident can help to shine a light on the immense dangers of driver fatigue. Morgan's life may never be the same as it was before the accident, but he is lucky compared to his friend, McNair, who didn't survive the accident at all.
Far too many families in Oklahoma have to suffer the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident. In many cases, these accidents are avoidable. Drivers of any type of vehicle must understand what is at stake when they get behind the wheel. This means one should make safety the utmost priority.
Source: Newsweek, "Tracy Morgan Reaches Settlement With Wal-Mart; Has 'New Lease on Life'," Michelle Richinick, May 28, 2015