*Tracy Morgan’s surprise appearance at Sunday’s Emmy Awards may have been a highlight for many, but not for the attorney representing the Walmart truck driver charged in connection with the comedian’s June 2014 multi-vehicle fatal crash.
Morgan’s cameo came as he was on hand at the end of the Emmys to present the award for outstanding drama series. Prior to announcing the winner, Page Six reports the former “30 Rock” star mentioned that he was recovering from the traumatic brain injury he suffered from being in the six-vehicle crash, which took place on the New Jersey Turnpike. The crash involved his limo and a Walmart-operated tractor-trailer.
“When I finally regained consciousness, I was ecstatic to learn I wasn’t the one who messed up,” Morgan said. “Only recently I’ve started to feel like myself again.”
Morgan’s remarks drew criticism from David Jay Glassman, the attorney for Kevin Roper, the Walmart driver involved in the crash. On Monday, Glassman slammed Morgan’s speech while noting how it would prejudice court decisions against his client.
“This is exactly what happens when a prosecutor and a judge allow parties to dictate what’s important and control the proceedings,” Glassman said in a statement. “Clearly the last thing on the mind of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey Federal District Court Judge who permitted Morgan’s civil case to supersede the pending criminal proceedings, was Mr. Roper’s constitutional rights, including the right to have his guilt or innocence decided in a courtroom, as opposed to by the national media or by way of comments made by Mr. Morgan during the nationally televised 67th Annual Emmy Awards. While the violations of Mr. Roper’s rights continue unabated, Mr. Morgan has confirmed that his monetary goals have been realized and his personal as well as professional recovery is well underway. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about my client, Kevin Roper, who awaits indictment, while his constitutional rights were discarded in favor of an unprecedented rush to judgment and material for comic relief.”
Morgan’s appearance on the Emmys comes months after he and Walmart reached a settlement in his case in May.
National Transportation Safety Board concluded in August that the crash was caused by Roper’s fatigue. As it turned out, Roper was allegedly awake for 28 hours. At the time of the accident, he worked almost 14 hours and was speeding.
Roper was ultimately charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.