Tracy Morgan crash stresses the importance of trucker safety - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tracy Morgan crash stresses the importance of trucker safety

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Blake Vann, ATC Commercial Truck Driving Instructor Blake Vann, ATC Commercial Truck Driving Instructor
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A Georgia trucker prepares to face a judge in a deadly crash that killed one man in New Jersey and critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan.

A criminal complaint in that New Jersey crash claims driver, Kevin Roper, from Jonesboro had been awake for more than 24 hours when he caused that crash. The horrible accident killed Tracy Morgan's friend and left Morgan with multiple injuries including a broken leg and nose and ribs.

Albany Tech driving instructor, Blake Vann, says truck drivers always need to be alert and that there is equipment inside their trucks that monitor their activity.

"You need to be very rested because it's a very tiring job to drive a big truck," said Blake Vann, ATC Commercial Truck Driving Instructor. "So, it's real important that you be rested. Some of the bigger companies have what we call electronic logs and it records everything that the truck does. So they know exactly when a driver has stopped for a rest break or when he's driving or whatever he may be doing."  

Vann says it's important for all drivers to inspect their trucks before operating them. He says having an unsafe rig on the road increases a driver's chances of being involved in an accident.

Roper drove for Walmart.  A Walmart Spokesperson believes he was operating within federal hours of service regulations which is 11 hours of driving in a 14 hour period, followed by 10 hours of rest.

Roper is charged with vehicular homicide and assault by auto.  He is free on $50,000 bail but is scheduled for an initial court appearance on Wednesday.  Tracy Morgan remains in critical condition.

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