Safety & Compliance

Hit-and-Run Driver Declared Imminent Hazard to Public Safety

April 29, 2013

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has declared North Carolina-licensed truck driver, Johnny Allen Spell, to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

Federal officials and local investigators say Spell failed to stop for a school bus, which had engaged its warning lights and was unloading passengers on U.S. Hwy 421 in Sampson County, North Carolina. Published reports indicate log truck Spell was driving struck and killed 7-year-old Alyiah Morgan as she got off the bus. The incident occurred April 23.

FMCSA is conducting an investigation of the company Spell drove for, Ricky Lucas Trucking. Reports indicate three of Lucas' trucks had failed roadside inspections over the past two years, and one of its drivers had been placed out-of-service.

A Wilmington, NC television station, WWAY, reports that Spell has a lengthy criminal history, including several drug possession charges, two DUI convictions and manufacturing liquor without a permit.

Spell faces numerous state charges for his role in the crash, including involuntary manslaughter, felony hit and run, improper passing of a stopped school bus with warning devices activated, reckless driving and driving while using or in the possession of drugs.

“FMCSA will continue to assist state and local law enforcement officials, who are leading the investigation, in every way possible,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “We demand that commercial drivers operate their vehicles with a high regard for public safety.”

FMCSA said the imminent hazard out-of-service order for Spell is based upon his disregard of federal safety regulations and interstate operations. The investigation continues.


  1. 1. Matt Hubler [ April 29, 2013 @ 03:44AM ]

    Spell if found guilty needs to have two options: 1. Death penalty n within 6 months. 2. Hard labor and all money he earns goes to the girls family until Spell dies.

  2. 2. Dave Freed [ April 29, 2013 @ 07:26AM ]

    Not only should this driver be locked up or put to death, the person who allowed him to drive the truck should be charged with manslaughter. The feds and the state also need to look at criteria for allowing individuals to have a CDL, if he truly had an active CDL.

  3. 3. Larry Hall [ June 28, 2013 @ 07:58AM ]

    Another good reason for mandatory background checks before a driver is hired. With 2 DUI convictions it is a wonder the insurance carrier would even insure him under the companies policy


Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 2000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.


ELDs and Telematics

sponsored by
sponsor logo

Scott Sutarik from Geotab will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Sleeper Cab Power

Steve Carlson from Xantrex will answer your questions and challenges

View All