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UPDATE:

Reuters is reporting that the truck driver who caused this awful accident had not slept for over 24 hours. The truck driver, an employee of Wal-Mart, was driving a company truck at the time of the fatal wreck. Driving while drowsy is a major safety issue in the trucking industry. Far too many tractor-trailer operators are tasked with meeting difficult delivery deadlines so they push the limit and drive without stopping for hours on end. Unfortunately, this accident is an example of the consequences of such actions.

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A Walmart tractor-trailer slammed into a limousine bus setting off a chain-reaction wreck that resulted in one death and multiple serious injuries. Most notably, actor and comedian Tracy Morgan suffered critical, potentially life-threatening injuries in the collision.

The operator of the Walmart tractor-trailer was charged with death by auto in the crash, along with four counts of assault by auto, according to NBC 29.

The man that died in this awful accident was named James McNair. He was a comedian described as a mentor to Tracy Morgan.

Mr. Morgan and a man named Jeffrey Millea had to be flown from the accident scene to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, where they were listed in critical condition.  Another comedian named Ardie Fuqua Jr., was also in critical condition. Comedian Harris Stanton was treated at the hospital but was later released.

So what caused this collision? Well, reports indicate that te tractor-trailer driver failed to slow for traffic ahead and swerved at the last minute to avoid a collision. Unfortunately, this last minute maneuver failed and the big rig smashed into the back of the limo. This resulted in a chain-reaction wreck with another tractor-trailer, an SUV and two cars.

This awful incident provides a stark reminder as to what can happen when a large, commercial tractor-trailer is operated in an irresponsible manner. There’s a reason operators must have a special license to operate large big rigs – because they are such massive vehicles that can cause devastation when operated inappropriately.

My deepest sympathies go out to the McNair family and I hope Mr. Morgan and the other victims of this terrible collision can pull through and make a speedy recovery.

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