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Mother, aunt saw girl hit, killed by log truck

SAMPSON COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The family of a girl killed in a hit and run accident involving a log truck yesterday says they saw the incident happen.

The aunt of Aliyah McKenzie Morgan, 7, says she and the girl’s mother were waiting for the first grader to get off the bus yesterday in front of their home on US 421 as they did every day. The aunt tells WWAY they saw Aliyah get off the bus. They also heard a log truck coming down the road and tried to yell to Aliyah not to cross the road, but it was too late. She says the truck hit the girl, who died on the way to the hospital, and kept going.

Family described Aliyah as a tom boy who was full of life and looking forward to starting to play soccer. They say the girl and her mother just moved back to the area from New York to live with family two months ago yesterday.

Aliyah’s aunt says the child’s mother considered her a “gift from God,” because she did not believe she would be able to have children before getting pregnant with Aliyah.

The truck driver charged with Aliyah’s death, Johnny Allen Spell, 37, of Roseboro, made his first court appearance in Sampson County today. Spell is charged with passing a stopped school bus, hit and run and involuntary manslaughter. NCHP Sgt. Bryan Smith tells WWAY Spell also faces a misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired. A judge gave him a court-appointed attorney. Spell is due back in court Friday.

We tried to speak with Spell in jail, but his attorney’s office denied our request.

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