An emotional Tracy Morgan spoke in public for the first time since he was seriously injured when a speeding Wal-Mart tractor-trailer struck the limousine bus he was riding in last year. He said on the Today Show, "I can't believe I'm here. I can't believe I'm in front of you. I can't believe I'm just here, and just seeing the tragedy that happened. It touches me."
On June 7, 2014, Morgan and other comedians were in a Mercedes Benz limousine mini-bus when the Wal-Mart truck barreled into them on the NJ Turnpike. James McNair was killed while Morgan was in critical condition. Two other passengers were also seriously injured. The Wal-Mart truck driver, police said, had been dozing during the crash because he hadn't slept in 24 hours.
The comedian broke down when discussing his friend James McNair, "He was a close friend of mine, a comrade in comedy. He was a loving man, and he was a warm man. He was a good man. It's just hard for me to see that he's gone."
Morgan revealed that he had been in a coma for two weeks, and only found out that McNair had died when he came out of the coma, when his fiancee said, "We put Jimmy to rest." He was in shock, and he would watch YouTube videos of the crash and then McNair's funeral while convalescing, "I had to know what happened to my friend. I had to know. I had to pay my respects, and that was my way."
He doesn't remember the crash, and is still suffering from the effects of the serious brain injury he sustained, "There are times where I have my good day and my bad days, where I forget things. There are times where I get the headaches, and the nose bleeds. I won't even let my lady know because I don't want her to be worried about it." He also uses a cane.
Wal-Mart settled with McNair's children for $10 million, and reach an undisclosed settlement with Morgan, who told Lauer, "I’m happy that Walmart stepped up to the plate in a tremendous way." Morgan's lawyer says that Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon wants to apologize to him in person as well.
Morgan cited the support of his family and friends like Tina Fey as key to his recovery. And he was also thankful for the medical team at JFK Medical Center in Edison, NJ, especially "Nurse Jackie": "Nurse Jackie, when I first came out of the coma, I was a mess. I would curse her out every day. I would throw things at her... The only thing she would say to me is, ‘Everything is going to be all right.’"
He wants to return to his calling, but isn't ready to yet, "I love comedy. I'll never stop loving her. I love comedy and I can't wait to get back to her, but right now my goal is just to heal and get better because I'm not 100 percent yet, I'm not. And when I'm there, you'll know it. I'll get back to making you laugh. I promise you."