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SAMPSON COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A North Carolina trucking company is under federal investigation two days after one of its drivers was charged with hitting and killing a seven-year-old girl getting off her school bus.

Federal officials are joining state and local investigators to look into the Tuesday accident that killed 7-year-old Alyiah Morgan. Highway Patrol says the girl died after being hit by a log truck as she got off her school bus on US 421 in Sampson County.

Today the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that it would perform a full review of Ricky Lucas Trucking, which employed suspect Johnny Allen Spell. If investigators determine a federal standard was broken, Ricky Lucas Trucking could face fines or lose its operating authority.

An agency spokeswoman said in the last two years the company has had three trucks fail inspection and one driver taken off of the road. The spokeswoman also said licensed companies are expected to ensure that their drivers are properly licensed and that they do random drug and alcohol tests.

Drugs and alcohol have been a big part of Spell’s lengthy criminal history, including eight charges of possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine and methamphetamine, two DWI’s,and manufacturing liquor without a permit among many other charges.

Correction: In the original version of this story, it was reported that Spell’s criminal record included a charge for failure to register as a sex offender. We have since learned that charge belonged to a different Johnny Spell. We apologize for the error.

We called Ricky Lucas Trucking for comment, but were told they would only speak to WRAL TV in Raleigh.

Meanwhile, a person close to the case says Spell said after the incident that he did not know he had hit anyone. The source also tells WWAY that Spell did not try to hide the truck; rather he parked the truck in the same place he does each night.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest Reply

    This man hit this young child…and proceeded to drive 45 miles on down the road to park his vehicle???
    Did the Police/Sheriff/Highway Patrol receive a “Hit and Run” phone call immediately following this event?
    Going back to the 1st original story from WWAY…I see no mention of that phone call occurring…only that he was caught 45 miles later:

    Full story please!

  • nofaithnlaw

    With the Feds getting involved I would think that negligence is going to come into play for the comapny who employed this man. So, to answer a question the company is partly to blame. Having a CDL licensed operator involves several things that the company is responsible for adhering to on a fedral level. One is that an operator of a commercial vehicle MUST have a valid operators license! This man did not.

    The company’s past bad record is not at question..it speaks for itself.

    What the issue is in this is that a little girl no longer has life and it is the fault of the truck driver and in my opinion the owner of the company employing him.

    I hope that they shut this company down. How many more innocent people will lose their lifes due to the negligence and stupidity of people like this.

  • RSimmons

    That little girl’s family !

  • nofaithnlaw

    I hope the Feds lock this place down!

  • Guest111

    My sincere sympathy goes out to the family of this little girl. I can’t imagine the horror you felt and the grief you are having to endure. I wish I could help you in some way get over this.

  • Guest2020

    If this was a foreseeable incident that the company chose to ignore then they should be held accountable, but it was the truck driver who chose to drive while impaired. It was the truck driver who chose to pass a stopped school bus. It was truck driver who showed a wanted disregard for human life. It was the truck driver who took the life of seven year old Alyiah McKenzie Morgan.

  • Guest10

    Its not the trucking compney fault its his fault for not payin attintion and theys not but a few log truck and chip trucks that will pass a inspection

  • Guest111

    I may be wrong and correct me if I am (which I’m sure you will) but if the truck passes inspection, if it had all the permits it needed then wouldn’t the company be found not guilty in this? I know they have a bad record but on this one particular incident wouldn’t they be cleared? The blame would go to the truck driver. He should never have been hired with his record but again, if the truck was legal doesn’t the fault fall completely on the driver?

  • Charon Thomas

    I pray for this family;this is so uncalled for, and the trucking company should abide by regulations. You can’t just hire anyone especially if they have a history like his.

  • sthrnboy1970

    Any company who would allow a man with TWO DWI’s and numerous drug charges to operate a piece of their equipment is obviously negligent. One mistake is one thing, but this guy has a pattern of bad choices. I am curious how he qualified for a Commercial Drivers License in the first place.

  • Tamera

    this man simply needs to be in jail for life for taking another life! obviously this man has no remorse. if he did the DUMMY would have stopped, knowing that he had just hit this poor little girl. or better yet, he would have never passed a STOPPED school bus. the stop sign is there for a reason people. use your brain!


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