Safety

FMCSA declares trucker in fatal hit-and-run an ‘imminent hazard’

Nicole Schlosser
Posted on May 2, 2013

HARRELLS, N.C. — A truck driver who did not stop for a school bus, resulting in the hit-and-run death last Tuesday of a 7-year-old girl, has been ordered not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) declared North Carolina-licensed truck driver Johnny Allen Spell to be an “imminent hazard” to public safety.  

On April 23, Spell, a commercial driver's license holder employed by Ricky Lucas Trucking of Roseboro, N.C., was operating a tractor-trailer in Sampson County, N.C., when he failed to stop for a school bus. The bus had engaged its warning lights and was unloading passengers. Spell's vehicle struck and killed a child as she was crossing U.S. Highway 421.

Federal investigators are also reviewing the hiring practices and compliance records of Ricky Lucas Trucking, according to a story on WRAL.com. The trucking company's owner, Ricky Lucas, hired Spell about six months ago and did not conduct a background check.

"Safety is our highest priority," outgoing U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. "Unsafe truck drivers who endanger children and other members of the public have no business on our nation's roads."

Spell was arrested by North Carolina law enforcement personnel for his role in the crash. He faces several state charges, 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.

The investigation remains open.

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

Related Topics: fatalities, FMCSA, school bus crash

Nicole Schlosser Managing Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Article

5 New School Bus Shop Tools

An app that helps track maintenance and fuel, a remote-controlled mobile column lift, and a portable LED work light are among the latest offerings that can assist in school bus maintenance.

A school bus carrying 13 students was traveling along a highway when it hit a large turkey that flew across the roadway. Stock photo by Grendelkhan via Wikimedia Commons
News

School Bus Collides With Turkey

A bus carrying 13 students is traveling along a highway when a large turkey flies across the roadway from a ditch, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Product

Timer Switch

The 5600 Timer Box is designed to provide flexible, efficient switching of LED lights in a compact unit.

News

Student Allegedly Sexually Assaulted on School Bus

A Florence County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Office report states that video allegedly shows students pulling another student to the back of the bus and assaulting her while another student appears to block the driver’s view.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!