Tracy Morgan performs at Mount Airy Casino Resort, Feb. 1, 2014 in Mt. Pocono, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Bill McCay/Getty

Tracy Morgan on crash: ‘The pain is always going to be there’


“The case is settled, but the pain is always going to be there,” Tracy Morgan said Monday in his first interview since the deadly car accident a year ago that nearly took his life.

The comedian spoke to TODAY’s Matt Lauer exclusively, less than a week after settling a lawsuit against Walmart over the June 7, 2014 crash.

“Bones heal, but the loss of my friend will never heal,” Morgan told Lauer.

RELATED: Tracy Morgan’s lawyer after Walmart settlement: Actor ‘has a new lease on life’

Morgan and several friends were returning from a performance when the limousine they were traveling in on the New Jersey Turnpike was rear-ended by a Walmart truck. The “30 Rock” star suffered a broken leg, several broken ribs and severe brain trauma. His mentor, fellow comedian James McNair, was killed in the collision. Two other passengers in the limo were seriously injured.

A criminal complaint alleges that the Walmart truck driver, Kevin Roper, had not slept for more than 24 hours and was driving 20 miles over the speed limit at the time of the accident.

Last Friday, Morgan’s attorney, Benedict P. Morelli, told Lauer that Walmart took “full responsibility” for the accident. Still, the process for reaching terms in the confidential settlement “was never easy.”

“There was money involved because that’s the only thing that we can use to compensate people who are very injured, and you know that Tracy was close to death,” Morelli said.

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Tracy Morgan on crash: 'The pain is always going to be there'