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Actor, former ‘SNL’ star Morgan critically injured in 6-car pileup

  • FILE - Actor Tracy Morgan attends the FX Networks Upfront premiere screening of "Fargo" at the SVA Theater in this April 9, 2014 file photo taken in New York. Morgan is in critical condition at a hospital in New Brunswick, NJ Saturday morning June 7, 2014 following a violent multi-vehicle crash on the NJ Turnpike overnight. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP, File)

    FILE - Actor Tracy Morgan attends the FX Networks Upfront premiere screening of "Fargo" at the SVA Theater in this April 9, 2014 file photo taken in New York. Morgan is in critical condition at a hospital in New Brunswick, NJ Saturday morning June 7, 2014 following a violent multi-vehicle crash on the NJ Turnpike overnight. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP, File)

  • Traffic moves pass the scene of a serious accident at milepost 71 on the northbound lanes of New Jersey Turnpike on Saturday, June 7, 2014 near Cranbury, N.J. Comedian Tracy Morgan is in critical condition following an early morning accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. The comedian was injured in a crash involving six vehicles that left at least one person dead and several others, including Morgan, with serious injuries.   (AP Photo/David Gard)

    Traffic moves pass the scene of a serious accident at milepost 71 on the northbound lanes of New Jersey Turnpike on Saturday, June 7, 2014 near Cranbury, N.J. Comedian Tracy Morgan is in critical condition following an early morning accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. The comedian was injured in a crash involving six vehicles that left at least one person dead and several others, including Morgan, with serious injuries. (AP Photo/David Gard)

  • Traffic moves pass the scene of a serious accident at milepost 71 on the northbound lanes of New Jersey Turnpike on Saturday, June 7, 2014 near Cranbury, N.J. Comedian Tracy Morgan is in critical condition following an early morning accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. The comedian was injured in a crash involving six vehicles that left at least one person dead and several others, including Morgan, with serious injuries.   (AP Photo/David Gard)

    Traffic moves pass the scene of a serious accident at milepost 71 on the northbound lanes of New Jersey Turnpike on Saturday, June 7, 2014 near Cranbury, N.J. Comedian Tracy Morgan is in critical condition following an early morning accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. The comedian was injured in a crash involving six vehicles that left at least one person dead and several others, including Morgan, with serious injuries. (AP Photo/David Gard)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2010 file photo, Tracy Morgan attends Comedy Central's 'Night Of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert For Autism Education' at the Beacon Theatre in New York. Morgan is in critical condition at a hospital in New Brunswick, NJ Saturday morning June 7, 2014 following a violent multi-vehicle crash on the NJ Turnpike overnight. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2010 file photo, Tracy Morgan attends Comedy Central's 'Night Of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert For Autism Education' at the Beacon Theatre in New York. Morgan is in critical condition at a hospital in New Brunswick, NJ Saturday morning June 7, 2014 following a violent multi-vehicle crash on the NJ Turnpike overnight. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File)

  • FILE - Actor Tracy Morgan attends the FX Networks Upfront premiere screening of "Fargo" at the SVA Theater in this April 9, 2014 file photo taken in New York. Morgan is in critical condition at a hospital in New Brunswick, NJ Saturday morning June 7, 2014 following a violent multi-vehicle crash on the NJ Turnpike overnight. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP, File)
  • Traffic moves pass the scene of a serious accident at milepost 71 on the northbound lanes of New Jersey Turnpike on Saturday, June 7, 2014 near Cranbury, N.J. Comedian Tracy Morgan is in critical condition following an early morning accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. The comedian was injured in a crash involving six vehicles that left at least one person dead and several others, including Morgan, with serious injuries.   (AP Photo/David Gard)
  • Traffic moves pass the scene of a serious accident at milepost 71 on the northbound lanes of New Jersey Turnpike on Saturday, June 7, 2014 near Cranbury, N.J. Comedian Tracy Morgan is in critical condition following an early morning accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. The comedian was injured in a crash involving six vehicles that left at least one person dead and several others, including Morgan, with serious injuries.   (AP Photo/David Gard)
  • FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2010 file photo, Tracy Morgan attends Comedy Central's 'Night Of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert For Autism Education' at the Beacon Theatre in New York. Morgan is in critical condition at a hospital in New Brunswick, NJ Saturday morning June 7, 2014 following a violent multi-vehicle crash on the NJ Turnpike overnight. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File)

Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was critically injured yesterday after a tractor-trailer rammed into his chauffeured limousine bus, setting off a chain-reaction crash that left one member of his entourage dead and two others seriously hurt, authorities said.

A truck driver from Georgia was charged with death by auto in connection to the crash, prosecutors said. Middlesex County prosecutors said 35-year-old Kevin Roper of Jonesboro also faces four counts of assault by auto. His bail was set at $50,000, and he was expected to turn himself in. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.

The former Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock cast member was returning from a standup comedy show in Delaware when his Mercedes limo bus carrying seven people overturned on the New Jersey Turnpike near Cranbury Township about 1 a.m., state police Sgt. 1st Class Greg Williams said.

James McNair, 62, of Peekskill, N.Y., a passenger in the limo bus, died at the scene, Williams said.

Morgan, 45, and Jeffrey Millea, 36, of Shelton, Conn., were flown from the accident scene to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, where they were in critical condition, hospital spokesman Peter Haigney said.

A fourth passenger, comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr., was also in critical condition, while a fifth passenger, comic Harris Stanton, was treated and released, Haigney said. Two others in the limo were unhurt, including the driver.

Morgan remains in the intensive care unit at the hospital.

“His family is now with him and he is receiving excellent care,” spokesman Lewis Kay said in a statement. “We don’t anticipate much of a change in his condition today but will provide a further update once more information becomes available.”

Williams said the tractor-trailer driver apparently failed to notice slow traffic ahead and swerved at the last minute in a vain attempt to avoid a crash. But it smashed into the back of the limo, prompting a chain-reaction crash with a second tractor-trailer, an SUV and two cars.

Morgan’s limo was owned by Atlantic Transportation Services, which said it had one employee behind the wheel and a second in the front passenger seat.

“Although the investigation is still pending, we concur with the preliminary reports that the accident was caused by another vehicle traveling behind the Atlantic limo bus,” the Rehoboth Beach, Del.-based company said. “We are grateful that our drivers did not sustain life-threatening injuries.”

Morgan performed comedy standup Friday night at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. His scheduled appearance at the Fillmore Charlotte in North Carolina last night was canceled.

Fuqua had tweeted that he was opening for Morgan on Friday. On his Instagram page, Fuqua included a collage of photos from the Delaware show.

Morgan, a New York City native, joined SNL in 1996 and was on the sketch-comedy program for seven years before leaving to star in The Tracy Morgan Show in 2003. That show lasted just one season.

In 2006, Morgan found a long-running role on NBC’s hit show 30 Rock, which was created by SNL co-star Tina Fey. He received an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor for 30 Rock in 2009.

Morgan grew up fatherless, one of five siblings, in a blighted section of Brooklyn, N.Y., where he helped raise and support the family.

He once called his gift for being funny “a defense mechanism” for his miserable circumstances.

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