Tracy Morgan Crash Similar To Tallahassee Case

Photo Credit: The Star-Ledger / Twitter / Charlie Benjumea
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A fatal drowsy driving crash getting national attention has brought back some painful memories for one local mother.

That crash killed comedian James McNair and injured 5 other people including comedian Tracy Morgan.

35 year old Kevin Roper has been charged with vehicular homicide.

The complaint says Roper was driving without having slept in a period in excess of 24 hours.

"This incident has brought back so many memories that people don't know how serious it is, you shouldn't drive drowsy," said Josie West.

Nearly six years ago, West's adopted daughter Ronshay Dugans was killed.

The 8 year old girl was riding in bus on her way to an after school program when the driver of a cement mixer hit the bus.

That driver's fatigue was cited as the reason for the crash.

Just recently, West watched as Ronshay's peers were recognized in church for their middle school graduations.

"When they stood up, it was like oh my gosh, she would've been going to high school," said West. "So we're still missing out on a lot of things because someone didn't get rest the night before," she said.

Just a few months after the fatal crash, a marker in Ronshay's honor was put up near the site near Orange Avenue and Capital Circle to remind motorists to drive carefully.

Each September, Florida marks Ronshay Dugans Drowsy Driving Awareness Week.

Now a national audience is learning about the issue due to Morgan's injuries and his friend's death.

"My heart is going out for both families, all the families that was affected by this tragedy," said West.

West tells us there will be a statewide effort to hand out free coffee at rest stops during this September's Ronshay Dugans Drowsy Driving Awareness Week.

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