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Complaint Charge: Atlanta Trucker In Tracy Morgan Crash Lacked Sleep

Kevin Roper, who was released from custody on Saturday after posting $50,000 bail, had not slept for 24 hours according to the criminal complaint for his vehicular homicide charge.

Kevin Roper/New Jersey State Police photo
Kevin Roper/New Jersey State Police photo
By Tom Davis

A metro Atlanta man charged with death-by-auto in a Middlesex County, N.J. crash that critically injured actor-comedian Tracy Morgan is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Kevin Roper, 35, of Jonesboro, who is scheduled to appear for a hearing at the Middlesex County Courthouse at 3 p.m., allegedly didn't sleep for 24 hours before the crash, according to NJ.com.

Roper was released from custody on Saturday after posting $50,000 bail.

Senate President Steve Sweeney, who sponsored “Maggie’s Law,” issued the following statement today regarding charges filed against the driver:

“The driver is entitled to his day in court, but if these allegations are true, it is a startling reminder of why ‘Maggie’s Law’ was necessary in the first place.  The effects of sleep deprivation can be just as hazardous as those of drugs and alcohol.  When people go without sleep and get behind the wheel, they are putting their lives and the lives of everyone they encounter on the road in danger.

“As the investigation into this crash continues, we hope for a full recovery for those still in the hospital.  We also hope that out of this tragedy will come further examination and discussion on how we prevent people from driving sleep deprived.”

“Maggie’s Law,” signed into law in 2003, made it a crime to knowingly get behind the wheel of a car if you have been awake for longer than 24 hours. Anyone doing so and causing a fatal car accident can be charged with vehicular homicide. Maggie's Law originated in 1997 when 20-year-old Maggie McDonald was killed when a driver crossed three lanes of traffic and hit her car head on.  The driver had been awake for over 24 hours.



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