Log truck driver charged with DWI after NC girl killed getting o - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Log truck driver charged with DWI after NC girl killed getting off school bus

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Johnny Allen Spell Johnny Allen Spell
Alyiah Morgan -WRAL Alyiah Morgan -WRAL
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HARRELLS, N.C. - The driver of a logging truck who hit and killed a child exiting a school bus now faces driving while impaired charges, according to the State Highway Patrol.

A child was hit and killed by a logging truck near Harrells in Sampson County Tuesday afternoon.

A Sampson County school bus was dropping off a child on U.S. 421 at approximately 3:30 p.m. when a tractor trailer hauling logs passed the stopped bus. The bus was stopped with all emergency equipment activated, Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jeff Gordon said.

The tractor trailer hit 7-year-old Alyiah Morgan. Alyiah was pronounced dead while being transported to Sampson Regional Medical Center in Clinton.

The driver and tractor trailer were located near Autryville and taken into custody, Gordon said. The driver has been identified as Johnny Allen Spell, 37, of Bud Spell Lane in Roseboro.

Spell has been charged with driving while impaired, felony hit-and-run, involuntary manslaughter and passing a stopped school bus. He is being held in the Sampson County Jail under a $200,000 bond.

Morgan was in the first grade Union Elementary School in Clinton. Linda Carr, principal of Union, told WNCN that the school has several grieving students and staff and the school is providing opportunities for them to talk and share. Union has professional counselors on hand today.

Carr said they live in a great community that is coming together to support everyone.

Passing stopped school buses appears to be a rising problem in North Carolina. The State Highway Patrol conducted "Operation Stop Arm" Oct. 15-19, when it followed 1,000 school buses. The Patrol issued more than 8,000 traffic citations and charged 16 motorists with passing a stopped school bus.

A Harnett County middle school student was hit and killed getting off a school bus in October.

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