Tracy Morgan crash: Truck was speeding 20 mph over speed limit

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (KABC) -- A preliminary report states that the truck that struck Tracy Morgan's limo van was going 20 mph over the posted speed limit before the accident.

A report released by the National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday states that Kevin Roper was driving 65 mph on the New Jersey Turnpike on June 7, but on that stretch of the highway, the speed limit had been lowered from 55 mph to 45 mph due to construction.

When the tractor-trailer, operated by Wal-Mart, slammed into the comedian's limo van, "traffic had slowed due to construction work ahead on the turnpike," the report stated. According to the NTSB, a sign warned of the lane closures about a mile south of where the accident occurred, and another sign a half-mile closer directed motorists to reduce their speed from 55 mph to 45 mph.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. trucks are equipped with devices that limit the vehicles' speed to 65 mph, a spokeswoman said, so Roper was going at the top speed possible.

The crash killed fellow comedian James McNair. Morgan and his assistant, Jeffrey Millea, remain hospitalized in fair condition, while comedian Ardie Fugua is still in critical condition.

Roper has pleaded not guilty to charges of death by auto and assault by auto.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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