Walmart Says Driver was 'Operating within the Federal Hours of Service Regulations'

By CNN News Wire

Published 06/10 2014 07:48AM

Updated 06/10 2014 08:00AM

via CNN
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Walmart says they are cooperating with law enforcement agencies investigating the deadly New Jersey crash that killed one and injured comedian Tracy Morgan and two others.

In a statement released Monday, the retailer addressed the charges against Walmart truck driver, Kevin Roper, who was involved in the accident 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.

Federal law requires drivers to work no more than 14 hours for any shift and 11 hours of driving." --Brooke Buchanan, Walmart Spokeswoman.

Click on the document above this story for a fact sheet on Walmart's trucking fleet and the federal policy on Hours of Service that we comply with and enforce.

(KNWA, Fayetteville)

More from CNN:

(CNN) -- A truck driver charged in a weekend crash that killed a man and injured comedian Tracy Morgan and others in New Jersey was awake for more than 24 consecutive hours before the incident, a criminal complaint filed in the case says.

Kevin Roper, 35, is charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto in the Saturday morning crash on the New Jersey Turnpike.

A Walmart spokeswoman issued a news release that said it was investigating the case.

"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," Brooke Buchanan said in a written statement, referring to limits of 11 hours driving in a 14-hour period followed by 10 hours of rest.

The wreck took place about 1 a.m. Saturday when the limo bus Morgan was in was hit by a tractor-trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike, police said.

The collision killed Morgan's fellow passenger, comedian James McNair, who performed under the name Jimmy Mack.

McNair's sister, Valerie Daniel, said he will be buried in a private ceremony on Thursday in Peekskill, New York.

Comedians Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton were among the injured, as was a man named Jeffrey Millea.

Morgan's publicist said Monday afternoon he is still in critical but stable condition.

His fiancee, Megan Wollover, is with him, publicist Lewis Kay said.

Morgan's injuries

Morgan suffered several injuries, including broken ribs, a broken nose, a broken leg and a broken femur.

Kay said Morgan underwent surgery on his leg on Sunday.

"We expect him to remain in the hospital for several weeks," he said.

The truck driver

Truck driver Kevin Roper, 35, was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.
Truck driver Kevin Roper, 35, was charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.

The truck driver charged in the crash turned himself in to police, and was released on $50,000 bail Saturday night.

Roper was a driver for Walmart.

"This is a tragedy, and we are profoundly sorry that one of our trucks was involved," Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., said in a statement.

"The facts are continuing to unfold. If it's determined that our truck caused the accident, Walmart will take full responsibility."

Chain-reaction crash

Photos: Tracy Morgan\'s comedy career Photos: Tracy Morgan's comedy career
Former 'SNL' star in intensive care

The wreck occurred on the turnpike in Mercer County, said Sgt. Gregory Williams of New Jersey State Police.

"The driver of the tractor-trailer failed to observe slow-moving traffic ahead," Williams said. "At the last minute, he swerved to try and avoid the Mercedes limo bus but struck it from behind, forcing the limo to rotate and overturn."

Four other vehicles were involved in the crash, the prosecutor's office said, but no one in those vehicles was injured.

Williams said he does not believe alcohol played a role in the crash, but that is under investigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate "safety issues related to commercial trucking and limousine safety," said agency spokesman Keith Holloway.

"All I know is I saw traffic ... and I stopped ... and I was upside down and in the vehicle," limo driver Tyrone Gale told WCAU.

Gale suffered bruises in the crash, WCAU reported.

Christopher Thompson, the co-owner of Atlantic Transportation Services, which was operating the limo bus, said he thought the bus was heading to drop Morgan off in New Jersey.

From SNL to '30 Rock'

Actor injured in multi-vehicle crash
Actor Tracy Morgan in critical condition

Morgan, 45, was a regular on "Saturday Night Live" for seven years. He later received an Emmy nomination for his role in the comedy series "30 Rock," in which he played Tracy Jordan, an exaggerated version of himself.

The New York City native made his reputation with over-the-top characters and impressions of celebrities such as Mike Tyson and Oprah Winfrey.

Seth Meyers told CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" that Morgan was a veteran of the "Saturday Night Live" cast when he joined in 2001.

Morgan "always looked out for me ... so yeah I'm definitely thinking of him now," said Meyers, now the host of "Late Night with Seth Meyers."

Morgan performed a comedy act Friday night at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware, the venue said.

Kay said Morgan's family "is tremendously overwhelmed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from his fans."

Doctors: Tracy Morgan Critical but Responsive After Surgery

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos