Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Sunday argued that a Walmart truck driver who allegedly critically injured comedian Tracy Morgan in a car accident should not face jail time because falling asleep behind the wheel was not always reckless.
CNN reported on Sunday that 35-year-old truck driver Kevin Roper had been charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto after his tractor trailer crashed into a limo bus, causing the death of one person.
Morgan remained in the hospital in critical condition on Sunday. Two others were also injured.
According to WCAU, early reports indicated that the driver had fallen asleep, but New Jersey State Police said that they had no evidence to support that claim.
Attorney David Schwartz told Fox News on Sunday that the driver could be sentenced to jail if he was convicted of reckless driving for falling asleep behind the wheel.
"Absolutely, 5 to 10 years in jail for death by auto, which is an act of recklessness," Schwartz explained. "So, if he did fall asleep at the wheel, that's one of the ways that you could commit reckless driving in New Jersey. And certainly the fact that a death occurred, 5 to 10 years in jail."
"I'm not trying to take anything away from the tragedy of this," Carlson replied. "But 10 years in jail for falling asleep? It strikes me as very different from taking drugs, drinking. Has that ever happened? Has anybody ever actually gone to jail for falling asleep?"
"For falling asleep and causing a death?" Schwartz asked. "Absolutely."
"But, I mean sometimes people -- and I'm not defending anyone here," Carlson continued. "I'm really struck by the idea that someone who falls asleep -- which is something that everybody does every day, not necessarily considered an act of recklessness -- does it unintentionally, nods off is a criminal."
"Tucker, if you're driving a 16-wheel truck, a truck for Walmart, and you're on the roads for the state of New Jersey, and you're drowsy and you fall asleep, it's certainly an act of recklessness," the attorney insisted. "Not an intentional murder, but it's an act of recklessness. And that's where this reckless homicide comes in."
"I can only imagine the guilt that he's already feeling," Fox News co-host Anna Kooiman observed.
"They always survive by the way, the people who cause accidents," Carlson agreed.