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SAMPSON COUNTY, NC (WWAY) –- A Sampson County man is in jail charged with allegedly hitting and killing a girl with a loaded log truck as she got off her school bus yesterday afternoon.

Troopers say 7-year-old Alyiah McKenzie Morgan died on the way to the hospital in Clinton after the hit-and-run on Highway 421. According to WTVD, neighbors told them that Alyiah’s mother was standing nearby when her daughter was hit.

Highway Patrol charged Johnny Allen Spell, Jr., 37, of Roseboro, with passing a stopped school bus, hit and run and involuntary manslaughter. NCHP Sgt. Bryan Smith tells WWAY Spell also faces a misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired.

Spell is in the Sampson County Jail under a $200,000 bond.

A family friend at Morgan’s home near Harrells last night said the girl was in first grade. Highway Patrol said she was hit around 3:45 p.m. as she got off the school bus on US 421 near Herring Road. Investigators say Spell passed the school bus even though it had its flashers on.

Highway Patrol says Spell continued South on US 421 after the collision. A tip led them to find the truck behind a barn 45 miles away near Autryville.

Comment on this Story

  • Starlene Morgan

    People pls, pls stop commenting about our PRECIOUS ALYIAH !!!! When you dont know the details. Alyiah DID LOOK BOTH WAYS !!!! Thats the worst part, OUR BABY GIRL DID EXACTLY WHAT SHE WAS TAUGHT TO DO !!!! And it didnt matter. The details will come out, untill then PLEASE refrain from ANY commets about THIS CHILD….HOW DARE YOU !!!

  • cjgilbert

    I am a bus driver who holds my chldren on the bus due to the amber lights flash first to let you know reds are about to go on. every one of you hate to be behind a bus so when you see yellow as in a traffic light you go faster to beat the red, drivers see amber on a bus you think it means speed up or pass so you dont get stopped i see this everyday on my bus even when red is flashing n stop sign is out drivers still drive all the way up to my stop sign n then stop ttttttttoooooooooooo lllate you have hit someone if i hadnt held them on my bus people just stop especially all of you who dont, when you see me in my bus and the lights are flashin and ther are 1 to 10 children standing at the bus stop THINK, and where is your common sense children dont stand at corners/streets/ (bus stops) early in the morning for no reason i was in a bad bus wreck cause a driver in a big truck didnt see me in the dark lit up like a christmas tree, whatever drivers you arent paying attention

  • Brenda Campbell

    I was devastated when I heard the news Today, I just cant believe that this bright eyed adorable little girl is gone she was one of my favorite kids on m y bus and I had her before she moved to NC. I’m so sorry to her Mom and the rest of the family and cant help but think of the pain that you must be going through. It pains me deeply. I loved her. She use to make me laugh, she was such a good girl. I’m So SORRY for your loss. I can only think that the man that did this should be made an example and parents and drivers PLEASE PLEASE I beg of you too teach the children to be mindful that the drivers out there can not be trusted. There isn’t a day that goes by that someone does not pass my my reds. I see it all the time they are oblivious to the harm they can do. OH GOD I cant get over it.

  • stephen

    I also heard he had no operators license and isn’t this the same guy in this story.Mug shot looks the same http://clintonnc.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Salemburg+man+charged+after+allegedly+stealing+from+employer%20&id=15012400

  • Guest 18

    I normally do not comment on the things I read. However, I must say that I would rather look like an idiot every day than knowing that I could possibly be the one to hurt a child. If you will re read the driver handbook. You are not required to stop until the caution lights become red and the sign is out. I have been driving for 40 years and caution lights mean to “proceed with caution”. Anyone that is issued a driver license should realize that they are responsible of everything around them on the road. I can’t possibly see what the state could have done to have prevented this horrible tragedy. When I was in school there were no flashing lights or bars on the front that swing out. Things have changed since that time. Instead of blaming the state why dont we try to send them some constructive ideas.

  • john thompson

    far as flashing lights yellow doesn’t mean stop red does. yellow means caution.this didnt happen because the state messed up it happened because a crack head was let to drive. i am a truck driver and have drove by where she got hit. he had plenty of time to see the bus, and didnt stop he is a murder. and should be put to death for the murder of a 7 year old. everybody looks to blame everybody else, when infact the blame rests with them. for that matter u can blame the bus driver for not checking to see if it was clear to let her off the bus. but still accountability, its the driver who didnt stop, he murdered her and now lies to try and save himself. i say give him death

  • Guest Vader

    If you read the story, you would know that the driver was not from Brunswick County.

  • Guest1234543

    i don’t want to be interpreted as taking up for the log truck because I’d have done dealt with him if it were my daughter, but he chose to drink and drive but you will never convince me he blatantly chose to pass a knon stopped school bus, that’s a strectch, even for some of those Brunswick county drivers.

  • guesty

    The amount of people that don’t know when you have to stop for a bus and when you can pass it. Carolina Beach Rd is a perfect example. Because it is a 4 lane road with a center turning lane that turns into a 4 lane divided road, there is nowhere on that road a driver must stop if a bus is stopped heading in the opposite direction. I’ve lost count of how many close wrecks I’ve seen because a driver in the left lane slams on brakes to stop for an approaching bus. Then somebody in the right lane will stop and traffic will back up. You only have to stop if you are going in the same direction as the bus. They don’t have kids cross 5 lanes to get on or off a bus.

  • Guest350

    Guest 17, you have said a mouthful. Many times I have approached a school bus headed toward me with amber lights flashing only to travel a quarter mile before it actually stops. I have stopped and they go on by, still rolling near road speed. There needs to be better communication between busses and drivers. Why not have designated bus stops a quarter mile apart, well marked so motorists will know where the bus can and will stop? Picking up students every 50 feet only tends to make folks more anxious to get around a bus.

  • Guest17

    this is a sad accident but in some ways this could have been a little bit the fault of the state of NC, how many of us have stopped for a school bus because the flashers were on just to watch the school bus drive by us and then throw their stop sign, making us look like an idiot?, I for 1 think the state needs to rethink this, I like all the flashing lights to draw attention but the caution lights should not flash until the driver is actually throwing out the stop sign, thus eliminating any and all confusion, the driver of the bus should still hold the kids until they are certain all vehicles are stopping.

  • Guest2020

    I hope that Sampson County’s District Attorney will increase the severity of the charges once the investigation is complete. This man chose to drink and drive. He chose to pass a stopped school bus. A little girl is dead because of his selfish choices and wanton disregard for human life. He deserves prison time and not a slap on the wrist with probation.

  • Guesting

    I guess now Obama ia going to outlaw log trucks just like guns

  • Guest_parent

    I hope he rots in Hell!

  • karen ash

    This is a awful tragic thing that has happened to this poor innocent girl and her family! judging by the reports he was under some kind of substance therefore it was not an accident, he chose to get behind the wheel and drive impaired, killing a precious little girl! He’s a monster and I hope he gets everything he deserves in prison when they find out what he did! I also hope they change the laws so that children don’t have to cross the road getting off a school bus, it will take some extra gas and route changes but it’s well worth it if it saves a child’s life ! So sad !

  • Vog46

    But I have a question.
    Don’t some counties try to let elementary school aged children off the bus so as they don’t have to cross the street?
    Seems to me that if Fed Ex can use right turns only as a policy for delivery of packages that we can surely change routes to prevent any YOUNGER kids from having to cross in front of a parked school bus with their lights going?

    Or is this not doable in rural counties?


  • Guest1971

    My heart breaks for the family who lost their baby. Prayers & Condolences to the whole family.

  • Toya

    Don’t try and turn it in the bus drivers fault at the speed he was going there was nothing she could have done she could have check her mirrors and at the time did not see him coming and all of a sudden out of nowhere here he comes…..REALLY THINK ABOUT IT THE SPEED OF AN 18 WHEELER AND A STOPPED SCHOOL BUS SO CRUEL TO TRY AND BLAME THE DRIVER!

  • nofaithnlaw

    Correct me if I am wrong…Driving a log truck..Commerical vehicle CDL license required ZERO ALCOHOL TOLERANCE. Was he an independent logger? If not who was he employed by and why was he allowed to be driving this death trap. I have read in article that he had been recently cted for driving without an operators license..HHHMMM?? There are so many reasons that he should have not been behind the wheel of any vehicles…..GET DRUNKS OFF THE ROAD. THERE ARE SO MANY OF THEM THAT DRIVE WITHOUT A LICENSE AND EVENTUALLY HURT INNOCENT PEOPLE…..IT IS TIME…YOU FILL IN THE REST OF IT. I AM SO ANGRY IF I PUT IT IN WRITING IT WOULDN’T BE GOOD. GOD BLESS THIS CHILD AND HER FAMILY!

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