Mother, aunt saw girl hit, killed by log truck

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Submitted: Thu, 04/25/2013 - 3:56am
Updated: Thu, 04/25/2013 - 12:53pm

SAMPSON COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The family of a girl killed in a hit and run accident involving a log truck yesterday says they saw the incident happen.

The aunt of Alyiah McKenzie Morgan, 7, says she and the girl’s mother were waiting for the first grader to get off the bus yesterday in front of their home on US 421 as they did every day. Rosabell Martinez tells WWAY they saw Alyiah get off the bus. They also heard a log truck coming down the road and tried to yell to Alyiah not to cross the road, but it was too late.

“I was screaming for her to stop, don’t come, please stop, and she just came, and he just didn’t slow down,” Martinez said. “He didn’t stop. He just ran her right over.”

Alyiah died on the way to the hospital.

“It’s terrible that people are in such a rush that they can just run a little baby down and not even care,” Martinez said.

Family described Alyiah as a tom boy who was full of life and looking forward to starting to play soccer. They say the girl and her mother just moved back to the area from New York to live with family two months ago yesterday.

Martinez says Alyiah’s mother considered the child a “gift from God,” because she did not believe she would be able to have children before getting pregnant with Alyiah.

The truck driver charged with Alyiah’s death, Johnny Allen Spell, 37, of Roseboro, made his first court appearance in Sampson County today. Spell is charged 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. A judge gave him a court-appointed attorney. Spell is due back in court Friday.

We tried to speak with Spell in jail, but his attorney’s office denied our request.

Court records show Spell also faces unrelated charges for driving without a license, larceny and possession of stolen property.



    God bless his innocent Angel. My prayers and thoughts are with her as well as her entire family.

  • GuestPAULAfromWILMINGTON says:

    I send my deepest sympathies to the family of this precious child. The story is heartbreaking.

    Wilmington and surrounding areas do not have a chapter of MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. We need a chapter, and we need it now.

    Wilmington and surrounding areas are experiencing more fatalities caused by drunk drivers. DRUNK DRIVERS ARE A VERY SERIOUS THREAT TO SAFETY ON OUR STREETS AND HIGHWAYS, AND THE PROBLEM IS GETTING WORSE.

    The culture of our area is an alcohol culture. Downtown Wilmington is nothing but one bar after another. And as a resident of downtown Wilmington, I am sick, sick, sick of the prevalence of drunkenness. We need the community to demand that legislators get tough with drinking and driving offenders.




    Agitate our lawmakers until this scourge of alcohol abuse is tackled.

    Agitate! Agitate! Agitate! If we don’t, we will have more tragedies of this kind.

  • Kayla says:

    I knew this beautiful little girl she and her
    We’re very close friends with my family
    They are like family to me and I will
    Always remeber playing outside and
    Watching movies with alyiha rip
    Baby girl! I just can’t stand having
    To realize that this is goodbye and
    I know someday ill see you again and
    We can play together and watch
    Movies together again but in the sky
    Rip beautiful love and miss you and
    God please take good care of this
    Girl!!! Love you

  • nuhusker says:

    Now, I realize it is easy to lump alcohol abuse with driving under the influence, BUT IT ISN’T!! Let us not blame alcohol for this tragedy, if it is then throw the first stone, if it is drugs, then so be it and I will expect an apoligy for lumping alcohol and drugs together. One is legal one may/may not be legal.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    It was in Sampson County.

  • Anonymous says:

    Because we tried it once. It was called Prohibition. It didn’t work then and won’t work now. Do you really want to go back to the days of Al Capone?

  • Guestresponding says:

    The current law is all CDL (commercial driving license) drivers can have no alcohol in their system. Any level above .00 is a serious infraction.

    God bless this poor family.

  • Guest1234543 says:

    why not go one better there, why don’t we get behind a movement to get the state and the fed’s out of the alcohol business!!! why don’t we put alcohol on the same list as heroin or pot??? why should the state and or feds profit from a product that the public doesn’t want to see consumed, let’s put some real teeth into this idea of yours.


    There will be no apologies..The truth of the matter is this man “KILLED AN INNOCENT CHILD” due to his ignorance. Do you want to apologize to her for his act of stupidity whether it’s ALCOHOL or DRUGS!

  • nofaithnlaw says:

    Hate to bust your bubble but alcohol is considered a drug!

  • Guest2020 says:

    Whether it was drugs or alcohol, it really doesn’t matter. The man chose to put an impairing substance into his body then get behind the wheel. The fact that it was drugs instead of alcohol doesn’t change the fact that his wanton disregard for human life has left a little girl dead and her family heartbroken.

  • jj says:

    God needed an Angel and so he took this Beautiful Child home. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

    I really have an issue with drivers who don’t slow down through School Zones as well as around School Bus stops. These log truck are always in a hurry and are speeding down the road with the other tracker trailer drivers. They will speed right by you. This guy should never see the outside of a jail again. I would like to know why he is facing a charge for driving without a license. Was it because of a DUI conviction.

  • Tara clemmons says:

    my heart goes out to this family May God bring them peace in the up coming days and may they always remember that Jesus has a rocking chair

  • Guest2020 says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with this family.

  • Tamera says:

    They are laying baby girl down to rest today. The wake yesterday was a sad occasion. I’m not ready to face the reality of today. She’s really gone… R.I.P baby girl, i miss you.

  • Guest10 says:

    He was not drinking he had drugs in his system any body nos that has cdls that if u wreck or get in to acident they can give u a drug test and if u fail they can give u a dwi yall news people need to get in to details

  • nofaithnlaw says:

    Nobody really cares whether it is DUI, DWI…the fact remains he is a DA. He ran over this child point blank! May he rot in his own fecies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest28569 says:

    DUI is drugs DWI is alcohol learn your laws

  • lals64 says:

    my heartfelt sympathy and prayers go to all that knew & loved this little girl. may God give the family peace, strength & comfort during the difficult days ahead.

  • Nofaithnlaw says:

    Maybe you need to read the law….
    GS20-138.1 Impaired driving. It can be either DWI/DUI. Having a prescription for drugs is not allowable as an excuse for incompetence and ignorance. Illegal drugs aren’t excused. Alcohol isn’t excused.

  • nofaithnlaw says:

    Then if he had a CDL he got busted, however he was cited last week with no operators license..He is just digging himself a deeper hole. Good ol’ boy!

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