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Driver faces scrutiny in truck accident that injured Morgan

In Iowa, you may have heard about a crash involving the famous comedian, Tracy Morgan. The truck crash that nearly cost him his life is a stark reminder of how serious safety needs to be taken on the roads. According to this story, a trucker may have gone without sleep for over 24 hours. That is against the federal guidelines for truck drivers, because it could lead to truck accidents.

The criminal complaint claims that the man driving the semi-truck had been awake for over 24 hours at the time of the crash. He allegedly failed to see people slowing down in front of him, and that led to him swerving and striking Morgan's bus. The police haven't said how they determined that the man was sleep deprived, and the company the trucker works for, Wal-mart, claims that the man was working within the federal rest guidelines developed for commercial truckers.

Federal law states that drivers are not legally allowed to work over 14 hours per shift per day. Only 11 of those hours may be completed through driving. A spokeswoman for Wal-mart has said that if the investigation finds that the truck was to blame, it will take responsibility for the accident. The spokeswoman has said that the company is cooperating with the law enforcement agencies working on the case.

The accident, which took place in New Jersey, has special laws that can be applied. In that state, if it can be proved that the man was driving without sleep for 24 hours, he can be convicted. Determining if the man was sleep deprived is one part of this case that is vital; if he is not proven to be responsible due to sleep deprivation, this accident may only be classified as a normal accident. A regular accident would not likely result in the same treatment as one where a criminal conviction is possible.

Source: CNN.com, "Trucker in Tracy Morgan crash to appear in court amid sleep deprivation reports" Faith Karimi, Jun. 11, 2014

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