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DOT orders N.C. driver to cease operation after hitting, killing child

| April 29, 2013

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered that Johnny Allen Spell — a driver licensed in the state of North Carolina — cease commercial vehicle operation, deeming him an “imminent hazard to public safety.”

Last week, Spell hit a and killed a child in Sampson County, N.C., on U.S. Highway 421 who was exiting a school bus. The bus was stopped and had its stop sign and warning lights engaged.

Spell then fled the scene in his truck and was in possession of drugs. He faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, a felony hit and run, improper passing of a stopped school bus, reckless driving and driving while using or in the possession of drugs.

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

Spell was a driver for Ricky Lucas Trucking, based in Roseboro, N.C.

FMCSA’s out-of-service order is based upon “disregard for federal safety regulations and interstate operations,” says the agency’s announcement.

  • jim stewart

    This guy should be held without bond period! That would have immediately solved any future driving issue for Spell. An order by the DOT to cease to drive a commercial vehicle? A little late for that isn’t it? This confused misfit on drugs who fled the scene after running down a child at a bus stop didn’t just become an idiot over night. He most likely had a past history blazing the way. Maybe Secretary LaHood’s team should have spent less time tracking down torn mudflaps or loose license plate screws and concentrated more on really credible driver/truck infractions. I was recently shut down because of a small crack in a passenger side windshield which had just happened the very same morning so while the local truck inspectors devoted their expertise in giving me the third degree that time most certainly could have been better spent looking at real violations out here on the roadway…

  • Gary Sines

    Check Ricky Lucas Trucking Vehicle Maintenance Data at
    It is kind of red flag.

  • Dan Leidal

    This is actually a bit sad and silly… I expect he is in custody, or perhaps has posted bond… His driving privilages likely being suspended as a condition of his bail… I also expect he is unemployable at this point… Can we say “grandstanding”??? I guess the FMCSA feel they have to make it sound good… No, this POS does not need to drive, fly, or sail anything beyond a bycycle!!!

  • kennybuckman


  • LandstarIdaho

    I am sure that because of this tragedy, some new law will be enacted that will diversely affect us all, no matter what our driving records look like. Hope he rots in jail.

  • kennybuckman

    I AGREE 100%

  • martymarsh

    Right on the money.

  • martymarsh

    This has nothing to do with him being a truck driver, there are morons in every profession. This moron happened to be driving a truck, but because of him every truck driver is bad.
    Put the blame where it belongs, on the person, not the industry.

  • Cameron

    Is no one else concerned that the feds think they have a right to order an individual driver off the roads?

    The state is the entity responsible for licensing individuals, not the feds. This driver will clearly be charged with violating state and federal laws, he will be given a chance to defend his actions, and then hopefully never drive again….BUT the federal government, and that eminent jackass LaHood (has criminal right in his name) have no power to arbitrarily keep a driver off the road.

    People need to quit believing the MYTH that driving is a privilege and not a right. That is absolutely, 100% false. This driver should face prosecution, in a court of law where he can try to defend his despicable actions, but the fools at FMCSA are far more dangerous.

  • Truckertwotimes

    Sounds like a bait story to me, has anyone checked to see which way the population stats are going lately or at all, nothing to do with this story just the fact of the stats

  • Danette Norrell Adamson

    And how long had he been driving ?? Yes there is bad seeds in every bunch but to punish us all becuz of a few seems foolish … the new scoring system they have is unfair to owner operators oh but wait that’s what it was designed for to push us out .. its sad I say

  • Danette Norrell Adamson

    Absolutely that’s what us old school drivers would do and they r tryin to get rid of all us they would rather have these new drivers wit 2 weeks of classroom trainin on road then the seasoned vets strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.