In 2014, Tracy Morgan was riding in a limousine bus when it was struck by a Walmart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike

By Eric Todisco
June 07, 2019 10:57 AM

It has been five years since the horrific car accident that almost claimed Tracy Morgan‘s life.

On June 7, 2014, the comedian was riding in a limousine bus when it was struck by a Walmart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike.

The crash killed his friend and collaborator, comedian James McNair, 62. Morgan was severely injured and put into a coma for two weeks .

Morgan, 50, commemorated the anniversary of the tragedy Thursday night on Twitter, writing: “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss my friend Jimmy Mac, who sadly lost his life that night. I love you Jimmy .I thank GOD for my family. I am eternally grateful for the love and support they give me. My wife, daughter, sons, and friends are what got me back on my feet. I live every day trying to do right by them and the most of this second chance.”

Over the years, Morgan has gone into great detail about the repercussions he faced after that fateful day — and how it changed him forever.

Some days were dark and some days were okay,” the Saturday Night Live star said in his 2017 Netflix special, Staying Alive.

The comedian even admitted he had contemplated suicide during his long recovery.

“I suffered some terrible injuries – traumatic brain injury,” he added. “I broke every bone in my face, my ribs. I pulverized my femur. I’m from the ghetto and after I came out the coma I was blind for a week and where I come from you don’t want to be blind for a second. All kinds of s— started coming up missing in my hospital room.”

Tracy Morgan
Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty

RELATED: 5 Rawest (and Funniest) Moments About Tracy Morgan’s Coma & Recovery from Staying Alive: ‘Some Days Were Dark’

After coming out of the coma he was placed in, he was affected physically and mentally.

“After the coma I was behaving erratically,” he said in the Netflix special. “I was acting really erratically and the doctors told my wife, ‘Mrs. Morgan, that’s the brain trauma.’ And my wife looked at the doctor and said, ‘Nah. Nah. [He’s] always been crazy. I was hoping the accident was going to fix his crazy brain.’”

The actor dealt with severe depression during recovery, but his family motivated him to fight through the dark days.

“When I was in my wheelchair, my daughter was 14 months old and I got to see her take her first steps,” he said of Maven, now 5. “That’s important to a man. That inspired me to get out of my wheelchair and I took my first steps. Now me and my daughter walk hand-in-hand for life because we learned how to walk at the same time. That’s magic.”

He also found inspiration from his fiancé at the time, Megan Wollover, whose pep-talk one day to her husband changed his entire mindset.

“When the accident happened, I got depressed watching my friends like Tina Fey, Kevin Hart, all those people, doing what I loved to do and I started eating a lot of comfort food and I put on a lot of lbs. and one day my wife just got fed up and was looking at me lying on the couch like a beached whale with disgust,” he explained in the special. “It was like she was counting the stretch marks and she said to me, ‘Why don’t you get off the couch and go to the comedy club and do some comedy?’ … And I jumped up and said, ‘I’m back!’”

Tracy Morgan and Megan Wollover
John Nacion/Startraks

RELATED: Tracy Morgan: ‘I Will Always Be Indebted to the SNL Cast for Inspiring Me to Go Back and Be Funny’

The pair married in 2015, with Morgan acknowledging his new wife as his strongest support system through it all.

“Megan was by my side throughout all of the hard times” he told PEOPLE after their wedding. “She is my rock, and I couldn’t be happier to have her take my last name. We are the Morgans!”

The comedian also credited the cast of Saturday Night Live for helping him get back on his feet upon his return to work.

“By that cast. I will always be indebted to that cast for inspiring me to go back and be funny,” he told Howard Stern in 2016. “They inspired me so much.”

In 2017, Morgan told PEOPLE why he did not shy away from joking about what happened when making his Netflix special.

“I got hit by a truck, it was a great story. So that’s what happened. I had a story to tell,” he said.

“When anything ever bad happened to me I made it funny and I turned it good,” Morgan added. “This was a bad thing that happened to me. I wanted to tell my story, but I also want to continue my standup career because all the great things that ever happened to me in my life came through standup.”

Tracy Morgan
Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

RELATEDTracy Morgan on Life After Deadly Accident: ‘I’ve Changed as a Person

Morgan used his comedic talent to acknowledge the crash throughout the years, putting a humorous spin on it.

“I gotta say, it’s an honor to be presenting this award tonight,” he said at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January.  “It’s a very prestigious award and can be life-changing, and trust me when I say, as a former winner, if you win this award tonight, and get hit by a Walmart truck, and survive with all your arms and legs, you gonna be set for life.”

He added, “You can trust that.”

While Morgan has since made a full recovery and return to comedy and acting, he got into another, minor car accident just last week in New York City.

TMZ reported that the comedian had just bought a 2012 Bugatti Veyron at Manhattan Motorcars when a Honda SUV tried to make a last-minute turn and sideswiped Morgan’s new $2 million car.

Morgan was unharmed in the accident, and joked about it on Twitter afterwards.

“Thanks for any concern but I am totally fine. My NEW CAR? We shall see. Love you all,” he tweeted.

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