It’s been almost a year since comedic genius Tracy Morgan was in a six-vehicle car accident in New Jersey. Tracy and three other comedians had been returning from an engagement that was part of Tracy’s “Turn it Funny” tour. In the crash, Tracy was not only gravely injured, but lost his good friend and collaborator, James McNair.
In the months since the accident, Tracy has faced a tremendous road to recovery, both physically and emotionally. In a brave interview for TODAY, he has opened up for the first time about this tragedy that has sent his world spinning, and the aftermath that he has been struggling with for the past year.
“I can’t believe I’m here. I can’t believe I’m in front of you,” Tracy told TODAY‘s Matt Lauer. “I can’t believe I’m just here, and just seeing the tragedy that happened. It touches me.”
Tracy sued Walmart—one of their truck drivers was involved in the crash—and the case was recently settled. “Walmart stepped up to the plate in a tremendous way,” Tracy said. “They took full responsibility.”
But the end of the case hasn’t brought much closure, says Morgan. “The case is settled, but the pain is always going to be there for Jimmy Mac,” a choked up Tracy said about his friend. “. . . He was a good man, and it’s just hard for me to see that he’s gone.”
Tracy doesn’t remember the accident, he says, but he recalls seeing his loved ones in the aftermath. His family and his fiancée, Megan, have been there to “keep [his] spirits up.”
The last he remembers of McNair was from the show they performed the night of the crash . . . and Tracy only discovered he had passed two weeks after the crash, when he came out of a coma. “My lady told me, ‘We put Jimmy to rest,” he said, tears on his cheeks. “When I got home, it really hit me.”
He watched videos of the accident and the funeral on YouTube. “I had to know what happened to my friend,” he solemnly told Lauer. “I had to pay my respects. And that was my way.”
When Tracy was asked about his injuries, he pointed to the scars on his head. “I have my good days and my bad days,” he said, “where I forget. There are times where I have the headaches, and the nosebleeds, and I won’t even let my lady know because I don’t want her to be worried about it.”
As Lauer points out, Tracy always travels with his family. . . but this one particular instance, because his daughter was teething, he did not. “[My daughter] wouldn’t have made it, and Megan wouldn’t have made it,” he said.
Tracy made sure to thank not only his loved ones, but his friends, such as Tina Fey, and his doctors, especially one nurse, who Tracy referred to as “Nurse Jackie.” When he first came out of the coma, he would “curse her” and “throw things at her” and the only thing she’d say in response was “everything is going to be all right,” according to a tearful Tracy. Later, he saw her and hugged her. “I said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry,'” Tracy said through tears. “She said, ‘I told you everything was gonna be all right.'”
Tracy may be up and moving, but this is only the beginning for him. He just wants to heal and get better before he continues with comedy. “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,” he said. “And when I’m there, you’ll know it. I’ll get back to making you laugh. I promise you.”
We are totally floored by Tracy’s raw, brave interview. Our hearts are with him and his family. Watch the full interview below: