June 1, 2015 / 12:32 PM / 2 years ago

Tearful Tracy Morgan, recovering from crash, vows to return to comedy

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An emotional Tracy Morgan, fighting back tears in his first interview since he was injured in a crash with a Wal-Mart truck that killed his friend a year ago, vowed to return to comedy on Monday but said he still needed time to heal.

Tracy Morgan appears on NBC News' "Today" show in New York in this June 1, 2015 handout photo. Morgan, fighting back tears in his first interview since he was injured in a crash with a Wal-Mart truck that killed his friend a year ago, vowed to return to comedy on Monday but said he still needed time to heal. REUTERS/Peter Kramer/NBC/Handout

The comedian, who starred in the television show “30 Rock” and the late night comedy sketch “Saturday Night Live,” held a cane and was accompanied by his lawyer as he was interviewed on NBC’s “Today” program.

“I love comedy and I can’t wait to get back to it. But right now my goal is just to heal and get better because I‘m not 100 percent yet,” said Morgan.

“And when I‘m there, you’ll know it. I’ll get back to making you laugh, I promise you.”

Shortly after the interview, in his first Twitter post since the accident, Morgan said to his more than 3 million followers: “It’s been a year. Just wanted to say thank you for all your love and support. Will see you soon.”

Morgan, 46, and others who were injured in the June 7 crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that killed comedian James ‘Jimmy Mack’ McNair reached an out-of-court settlement with the world’s largest retailer last week.

The terms and conditions of the settlement were not disclosed. The company said it was deeply sorry that one of its trucks was involved in the accident.

Morgan was in a coma and suffered a serious head injury and broken bones. He spent months recuperating and still suffers headaches and nosebleeds, but he said the loss of his friend was the hardest burden to bear.

“The case is settled but the pain is always going to be there for Jimmy Mack. He was a good man, a warm man,” he said as his eyes filled with tears.

“Bones heal but the loss of my friend will never heal because we knew each other a long time. But I am happy that Wal-Mart stepped up to the plate in a tremendous way and they took full responsibility,” he said. “I know my friend can rest in peace now.”

McNair’s two children, Danita and Jamel, settled their lawsuit against Wal-Mart in January for $10 million, which will be split between them.

Benedict Morelli, Morgan’s lawyer, said the company’s Chief Executive Doug McMillon planned to meet with the comedian this week to deliver a personal apology.

Morgan also thanked his doctors, nurses and his drivers, police and everyone who helped him and others following the crash.

NBC Universal is owned by Comcast Corp.

Reporting by Susan Heavey and Patricia Reaney; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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