HARRELLS — The State Highway Patrol has filed an involuntary manslaughter charge against the driver of a tractor-trailer truck that struck and killed a 7-year-old girl Tuesday afternoon at a school bus stop in Sampson County, then drove off. The driver also faces a DWI charge from the incident.
Troopers also identified the girl as Alyiah McKenzie Morgan of Delway Highway in Harrells.
Johnny Allen Spell, 37, of 192 Bud Spell Lane, Roseboro, also was charged with felony hit-and-run and felony passing a stopped school bus, Highway Patrol spokesman 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon said early Wednesday. Later Wednesday morning, troopers also charged him with driving while impaired while operating a commercial motor vehicle.
Sampson County sheriff’s deputies took Spell into custody near the town of Autryville after getting a 911 tip, Gordon said.
Alyiah was struck about 3:30 p.m. on U.S. 421 South near the Harrells community, troopers said.
The school bus was traveling south on U.S. 421 where it stopped near Herring Road and activated all of its emergency equipment while letting a student off the bus, Gordon said.
Witnesses said a tractor-trailer hauling lumber was also traveling south on U.S. 421, approached the bus from behind, passed it, struck the child and continued on, he said.