Update on the Tracy Morgan Case
More than five months ago on June 7, comedian Tracy Morgan was involved in a deadly crash that involved six separate vehicles. Morgan had been riding in a limo bus along with his friends when they were rear-ended by a Walmart truck in New Jersey. The crash killed James McNair, who had been in the bus along with Morgan, and caused severe injuries to both Morgan and the two other passengers.
Preliminary reports showed that the Walmart truck had been driving 20 miles per hour over the speed limit; the trucker in question had also almost hit his hours-of-service (HOS) limit at the time of the accident. The driver has since pleaded not guilty to the charges he was facing, which included vehicular homicide and assault by vehicle. Walmart has since retorted by stating that part of the blame is on Morgan and the other passengers as they were not wearing "appropriate available seat belt restraining device[s]."
In a statement, Morgan said, "I can't believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident that they caused."
At first, it was reported that Morgan has sustained broken ribs, nose, and a leg; however, his injuries have since been shown to be much more severe. According to Attorney Morelli, Morgan has also sustained a serious brain injury. The attorney went on to state that it is unsure whether or not the comedic actor will ever fully recover from the traumatic brain injury. He is, however, "a fighter."
"He's still fighting and trying to live his life at the same time and trying to get better, and he's just not better," said Morelli. "We're hoping and praying to get him back to where he was."
Information About Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
The recent statement regarding Morgan's TBI has brought awareness to a complex, hard to diagnose, but often deadly injury. Brain injuries range in complexity from minor to catastrophic—especially when they are sustained in severe motor vehicle accidents with factors such as weight, speed, and momentum. While it can be easier to diagnose TBIs that fall on either side of the spectrum (mild concussions to fatal damage), the real danger lies in the middle gray area where TBIs can be hard to identify and prognoses can vary.
The problem lies in the sensitive nature of the brain.
Although surrounded by a protective skull and fluid, the brain suffers every time that it it is hit—causing the tissue to hit the walls. This causes damage on several different levels. Not only can structures break down completely, but the internal neurons can become akin to "frayed electrical wires." To attempt healing, tissues may become inflamed; however, this could only worsen the situation by leading to internal swelling.
The prognosis for TBI victims vary and is often hard to pinpoint as the brain itself is still largely a mystery to us. Patients may struggle with speech and comprehension or, depending on the area of the injury, could even suffer from such side effects as dementia. Someone who has sustained a TBI may become increasingly irritable, struggle with self-control, deal with aggression, or even have personality changes.
Recovering from such an injury can be difficult and requires the help of a large support team—including specialists, loved ones, and rehabilitation therapists. In the case of Tracy Morgan, his lawyer's statement has shown that Morgan is still struggling with his injury and may have permanent damage following the catastrophic trucking accident from earlier this year—regardless of intensive rehabilitation efforts.