Saturday, 23 of September of 2017

Intoxicated North Carolina Tractor-Trailer Driver Hits and Kills Seven-Year-Old Girl

By Jim LewisNorth Carolina (NC) Wrongful Death Attorney

What Happened:

A fatal hit-and-run accident in North Carolina left a young child dead after getting off the school bus. Officials with the North Carolina Highway Patrol say that troopers are investigating the deadly accident and have now filed charges against the driver of the tractor-trailer who is believed to have hit and killed the young girl.

A spokesperson with the state troopers has revealed that the accident happened on Tuesday as the Sampson County school bus was heading south on U.S. 421. Officers say the bus came to a full stop with it’s emergency equipment properly activated. That’s when the first-grade girl was getting off the bus at the same moment that a tractor-trailer hauling a full load of lumber passed the stopped bus and hit the child.

Unbelievably, the driver of the semi continued on, southbound on U.S. 421. Police were able to track down the trucking company and eventually the driver, 37-year-old Johnny Spell. Spell was arrested and charged with felony passing a stopped school bus, felony hit and run and involuntary manslaughter. Police say that a continued investigation revealed that Spell was intoxicated at the time of the accident and he has now been given an additional criminal charge, this time a DWI while operating a commercial motor vehicle. Police say the investigation into the deadly accident is ongoing.

The North Carolina Wrongful Death Attorney’s Perspective:

We extend our sympathy to the family of the young girl who died. Losing a loved one is always hard, but especially so when the accident comes out of the blue. The family of the victim in this tragic case should contact an experienced North Carolina (NC) wrongful death attorney to ensure that the driver is held accountable. Even though criminal charges are being pursued against the driver, it’s important to understand that a civil claim for compensation can still proceed regardless of what prosecutors decide to do.

Potentially Helpful Information: 

If you’re considering reaching out to an attorney, make sure it’s someone who has experience handling such difficult and emotionally trying cases. My firm handled one case where our client was killed by the driver of a tractor-trailer, leaving his wife and four children behind. In that case, we were able to secure a $2.4 million settlement for the family. Though the money does not help to heal the deep wounds left after the man’s death, it helps provide some much needed money to a family in need.

If someone you love died due to the reckless or negligent behavior of another person, you’re likely confused about how to begin the process of holding the at-fault party accountable for his or her actions. Wrongful death actions can be confusing and are often unfamiliar to most people who, thankfully, have little experience with such lawsuits. For more information on the process, read through my firm’s guide on the wrongful death claims process in North Carolina. 

Have Questions? Check out our FAQs 

If you recently lost a loved one in a tragic North Carolina accident and are not sure how to move forward, it might be helpful to check out my firm’s answers to some frequently asked questions regarding wrongful death claims. For instance, you may be wondering what a wrongful death claim is, how a court calculates damages or even what the difference is between a wrongful death claim and a normal personal injury action. For these answers and more, read my firm’s North Carolina wrongful death FAQs.

Here’s a map of the area where the deadly accident occurred:


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About the Editors: The lawyers at Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro have decades of experience handling wrongful death claims in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC). Check out our case results to see our track record of success. Our wrongful death law firm has offices in Virginia Beach and Hampton, VA, and in Elizabeth City, NC. Attorneys with our firm have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. Attorneys with our personal injury law firm have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of practicing attorneys receive. To learn more about wrongful death law, take a look at this free consumer report written by one of the firm’s experienced wrongful death attorneys.