One man is dead and four others are in critical condition following a multi-car accident on the New Jersey Turnpike overnight. Police identified James McNair, 63, of Peekskill, N.Y., as the first victim from the crash, which involved two tractor trailers, an SUV, two cars and a limo van that was carrying comedians Tracy Morgan, Harris Stanton and Ardie Fuqua.
McNair, a close comedy friend of Morgan’s, was more commonly known to comedians, comedy fans and churchgoers as “Jimmy Mack.” He also hosted The Original Uncle Jimmy Mack’s Amateur Hour. Here is a clip of Jimmy Mack from 2010 called “Hood to the Good Part 1.” Roll it.
Mack was a mentor to Morgan and wrote with him. Here is a clip of Mack opening for Morgan at Caroline’s on Broadway from December 2011:
New Jersey State Police said their preliminary investigations determined that a tractor trailer rear-ended slow-moving traffic around 1 a.m. today, in the northbound lanes near Exit 8A in Cranbury, N.J.
Morgan, the 45-year-old star from Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock and an upcoming sitcom on FXx, was listed this morning in critical condition and in intensive care at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. Hospital officials this morning upgraded the condition of one of the four patients to fair, the other three (Morgan and his assistant, Jeff Millea, included), in critical. All of the injured were riding in the van.
No word on the condition of Stanton or Fuqua.
Although the silence on Fuqua’s social media feeds is deafening this morning.
Anyone who knows the energetic, charismatic Fuqua — a regular opener on the road for Morgan and in New York City at the Comedy Cellar and other clubs — knows he loves to share all of his ups and downs with friends both old and new.
Just after the show at Dover Downs Casino last night in Dover, Del., Fuqua posted this photo to Instagram, writing: “This is what it looks like from the stage to see a standing ovation from 1500 people. Then we traveled back to NYC in style in a luxury Mercedes Sprinter. Road life is a good life! #tracymorgan”
Here is raw footage this morning from NBC10 in Philadelphia, showing a Sam’s Club tractor trailer and the comedians’ overturned limo van:
I’ll keep you updated as I learn more.
A statement this morning from Morgan’s reps: “Tracy remains in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. He sustained these injuries in an accident that occurred early this morning as one of several passengers in a chauffeured SUV returning from a tour date in Delaware. His family is now with him and he is receiving excellent care. We don’t anticipate much of a change in his condition today but will provide a further update once more information becomes available.”
Stanton reportedly suffered a broken wrist and has left the hospital.