Tracy Morgan finally broke his silence on Monday — almost a year after being in a car accident that left him in a coma and killed his friend James McNair. The comedian became emotional as he opened up to Matt Lauer exclusively on TODAY less than a week after settling a lawsuit against Walmart over the June 7, 2014 crash.
"The case is settled, but the pain is always going to be there for Jimmy Mac," Tracy said in his first interview since the deadly car crash. "Bones heal, but the loss of my friend will never heal."
The 30 Rock star along with several friends were returning from a performance in Delaware when their limousine was rear-ended by a Walmart truck on the New Jersey Turnpike. Tracy broke his leg, several ribs and endured severe brain trauma and is still recovering form his injuries. "There are times where I have my good day and my bad days, where I forget things," he said still holding a cane. "There are times where I get the headaches and the nose bleeds. I won't even let my lady know because I don't want her to be worried about it."
Tracy admitted he doesn't remember the accident and his first memory is waking up to see the faces of his son and fiancée. "I can't believe I'm here. I can't believe I'm in front of you," the 46-year-old shared while tearing up. "I can't believe I'm just here, and just seeing the tragedy that happened. It touches me."
The actor, who had his lawyer by his side, thanked the doctors for helping him to recover and also took time to thank his family, the bystanders on the highway and his 30 Rock co-star Tina Fey for keeping him going in his darkest hour. "I've been down — they keep my spirits up," he added.
Aside from his devastating injuries, it was the loss of his friend that Tracy admitted hurts the most. "He was a close friend of mine, a comrade in comedy," the comedian explained. "He was a loving man, and he was a warm man. He was a good man. It's just hard for me to see that he's gone."
Tracy didn't learn about James' death until he emerged from a coma two weeks after the crash and began to watch YouTube videos of both the accident and his friend's funeral. "I had to know what happened to my friend," a choked up Tracy revealed. "I had to know. I had to pay my respects, and that was my way."
Tracy is finally getting some closure to this horrific event. It was announced last week that Walmart settled a lawsuit filed by the actor stating that 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. "Walmart stepped up to the plate in a tremendous way," he commended the company. "They took full responsibility."
Though still focusing on his recovering, Tracy sounded hopeful and adamant that he would return to comedy. "I love comedy. I'll never stop loving her. I love comedy and I can't wait to get back to her," he added. "But right now, my goal is just to heal and get better because I'm not 100 percent yet, I'm not. And when I'm there, you'll know it. I'll get back to making you laugh. I promise you."