The Comedy Cellar launched a fund-raiser online last night for comedian Ardie Fuqua, a regular host at the Cellar who remains in critical condition in a New Jersey hospital following the June 7 crash on the NJ Turnpike that also injured Tracy Morgan and killed their friend, fellow comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair.
“Please donate what you can to help out Ardie’s family.”
With a goal of $40,000, it already had raised more than $6,400 at this writing.
UPDATED 10:52 a.m. Friday, June 20: So far, more than 204 donations totaling almost $20,000. Keep ’em coming!
Kevin Roper, the Walmart tractor-trailer driver who crashed into the comedians’ limo van, is on trial for one count of death by auto and multiple counts of assault by auto.
“The driver had logged 13 hours 32 minutes at the time of the collision,” according to a preliminary report released today by the National Transportation Safety Board. “NTSB investigators are comparing the log information with supporting documentation.” The report said the law allows a “maximum 14-hour consecutive duty period for commercial motor vehicle drivers.” Data from the 2011 Peterbilt truck’s recorder indicated Roper was driving 65 mph in a 45 mph construction zone on the Turnpike in the minute immediately preceding the crash at 12:54 a.m. June 7. Traffic had slowed at that point ahead of the truck due to lane closures and mergers for Turnpike construction.