Truck driver in Tracy Morgan crash pleads not guilty

Truck driver in Tracy Morgan crash pleads not guilty

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Tracy Morgan (AP photo) Tracy Morgan (AP photo)
Kevin Roper, 35, of Georgia has been charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. Kevin Roper, 35, of Georgia has been charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.
MYFOXNY.COM/AP - A Wal-Mart truck driver from Georgia accused of triggering a deadly crash involving actor/comedian Tracy Morgan appeared in court on Wednesday.

Kevin Roper, 35, was released on bail Monday following the incident over the weekend. He faced a judge in Middlesex County Court in New Brunswick, where he pleaded not guilty to to death by auto and assault by auto.

A criminal complaint alleges Roper had not slept for more than 24 hours at the time of the crash; a claim the 35-year-old disputes. 

Morgan remains in critical but stable condition following a multi-vehicle collision on the NJ Turnpike that left one person dead and another injured.

A Twitter account that appears but is not confirmed to be his stated: "First off i never said i was awake for 24 hours, not once did i say that to any law enforcement or media person. These are lies being spread because they are pressured to make an arrest as this accident was being covered "NATIONALLY" because a famous person was involved."

Morgan is expected to remain hospitalized for several weeks following surgery on a broken leg suffered in the crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. The 45-year-old actor and comedian, a former "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" cast member, was "more responsive" on Sunday following the surgery, said spokesman Lewis Kay.

Morgan's fiancée, Megan Wollover, is said to be by his side and rumors about Morgan's leg being amputated are false, added Kay.

Roper has been charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.  He is accused of failing to slow for traffic ahead early Saturday in Cranbury, New Jersey and swerved to avoid a crash.

His rig smashed into the back of Morgan's Mercedes limo bus, killing comedian James "Jimmy Mack" McNair. 

"I knew everybody on that bus. James McNair is the nicest guy in the comedy game. He was around when we all started 25 years ago together. A lot of people became very successful and he was never a hater. He was always real supportive. We called him 'Uncle Jimmy Mac,'" said comedian Kevin Brown. 

The New York Daily News reported disturbing information from the Twitter account that bears Roper's name. The bio section of the account had read: "Trying to win more than lose! Driving trucks for a living #Walmart," but an earlier version read "It's my road move or get hit!"

The Twitter account has not been verified to belong to Roper. A man named Jeremy Crawford, claiming to be a friend of Roper's, notified the Daily News of the Twitter account. 

A Wal-Mart spokesperson said Roper doesn't have a Twitter account.

MyFoxNY/Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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