NEW BRUNSWICK New Jersey (Reuters) - Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan, best known for his roles on "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock," was badly injured when his limo bus overturned in a multi-vehicle crash in New Jersey early on Saturday that killed another comedian.
Morgan, 45, was in critical condition in an intensive care unit at a hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, police and his spokesman said.
The comedian James McNair, also known as Jimmy Mack, was killed in the crash on the New Jersey Turnpike, police said. McNair, who was 63 and lived in Peekskill in New York, was also riding in the limo bus with Morgan.
Jeff Millea, Morgan's assistant, and the comedians Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton were also injured, along with three other people, police said.
Morgan was on the road for a stand-up comedy tour when the accident happened. He had performed at a casino in Dover, Delaware, on Friday night.
The accident happened at around 1 a.m. on Saturday near Cranbury Township, and involved two tractor-trailers, a sports utility vehicle and two other vehicles, said Gregory Williams, a state police spokesman.
Morgan and others injured in the accident were taken by helicopter to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Center in New Brunswick, Williams said.
Morgan was expected to remain there in critical condition on Saturday, his spokesman said.
"His family is now with him and he is receiving excellent care," spokesman Lewis Kay said in a statement. "We don’t anticipate much of a change in his condition today."
Morgan is one of the best-known black comedians in the United States, finding humor in the often fraught realm of American race relations.
Several of Morgan's celebrity friends, including comedians George Lopez and Andy Richter and the director Jon Favreau, posted messages of support on Twitter on Saturday.
"Stay strong Tracy Morgan," the hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons wrote in a message. "We love you."
Police said they were still investigating the crash. The federal National Transportation Safety Board said it was also sending investigators.
'TURN IT FUNNY' TOUR
A few days before his Friday show at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, a message was posted on Morgan's Twitter account that read: "Dover downs I'm coming with truck loads of funny Delaware stand up get those tix while u can baby!!!!!"
Following that show in his "Turn it Funny" tours, Morgan had been due to appear on Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Morgan shot to fame with roles on "Saturday Night Live" that often poked fun at racial prejudices. One of his best known characters was Uncle Jemima, whose "pure mash liquor" was a send-up of the Aunt Jemima maple syrup mascot.
The comedian, a native of New York City, spent seven years on SNL before leaving the cast in 2003. He went on to star in the sitcom "30 Rock" for seven seasons alongside Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. Morgan played an unhinged, reckless comedian called Tracy Jordan in a network television satire that caricatured his SNL days.
"30 Rock" also skewered Morgan's sometimes inflammatory stand-up routine. After reportedly joking during a performance in 2011 that he would stab his own son to death if he spoke in a "gay voice," Morgan publicly apologized.
He has three sons with his first wife, Sabina Morgan, and is now engaged to Megan Wollover, with whom he had a daughter in 2013. Morgan, a diabetic, had a kidney transplant in 2010.
Peter Haigney, a spokesman at the hospital where Morgan was being treated, said the hospital was treating a total of four people from the accident, three of them in critical condition. He gave no other details.
(Additional reporting by Patricia Reaney and Doina Chiacu; Writing by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Frances Kerry)