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.