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Associated Press
Kevin Roper. Roper, center, arrives with his attorney David Jay Glassman, left, for a court appearance June 11 in New Brunswick, N.J. Roper, a Wal-Mart truck driver from Georgia, was charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto in the wake of a deadly chain-reaction crash on the New Jersey Turnpike early June 7 that killed comedian James McNair and left actor-comedian Tracy Morgan and two others critically injured.

Spokesman: Tracy Morgan transferred to rehab

NEWARK, N.J. – Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan has been moved from a hospital to a rehabilitation facility as he recovers from a serious auto accident, his spokesman said Friday.

The former star of “30 Rock” is showing signs of improvement but has a long road to full recovery, spokesman Lewis Kay said in an email. Morgan suffered a broken leg and broken ribs in the June 7 crash.

Kay didn’t identify the rehab facility where Morgan is staying, saying only that it is in New Jersey.

Morgan’s limousine van was hit from behind by a Wal-Mart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike. Morgan’s friend James McNair, 62, of Peekskill, New York, was killed and Morgan and two other men were seriously injured.

On Thursday, a report by federal transportation safety investigators said truck driver Kevin Roper was driving 65 mph in the 60 seconds before he slammed into the limo van. The speed limit on that stretch of the turnpike is 55 mph and was lowered to 45 mph that night because of construction.

The report also raised anew questions about Roper’s work hours and whether they were in conflict with federal safety guidelines.

The 35-year-old Roper, of Jonesboro, Georgia, has pleaded not guilty to one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.

Roper had been on the job about 1361/27 hours at the time of the crash, the report concluded. Federal rules permit truck drivers to work up to 14 hours a day, with a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel.

Had Roper continued to his eventual destination in Perth Amboy, he would have been pushing the 14-hour limit if he drove at the speed limit. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman had no comment Thursday on Roper’s hours or his itinerary.

The safety board report said investigators were still probing Roper’s activities in the days leading up to the crash to determine the amount of rest he received. The criminal complaint against Roper contends he hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours before the crash.

Messages left Thursday at several phone numbers listed for Roper’s attorney were not immediately returned.

An NTSB spokesman also said Thursday the agency was probing what kind of crash avoidance technology was aboard the vehicles involved in the accident. Roper’s truck was equipped with a system designed to slow its speed and notify him of stopped traffic ahead, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman said in the days after the crash, but it’s unknown if the system was working.

Morgan’s assistant, Jeffrey Millea, of Shelton, Connecticut, has been upgraded from serious to fair condition, according to Kay. Hospital officials said this week that comedian Ardie Fuqua, of Jersey City, remains in critical condition.

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Associated Press writer Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia contributed to this report. Follow David Porter at www.twitter.com/DavidPorter–AP

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