MENTONE, Ind. – Teddy bears and toys are set up along a fence in rural Rochester, near where three young lives were taken far too soon.
“It’s a tragic event that should’ve never happened,” said Michael Stahl, Alivia’s father.
Tuesday morning, twin brothers Mason and Xzavier Ingle and their older sister Alivia Stahl were crossing the street to get on the school bus. Police say a driver went around the stop arm, hitting and killing the three siblings.
“I can’t imagine, no one can, the pain that they are going through,” said Jason Rice, pastor at Mentone United Methodist.
“Nobody should lose any child but especially losing three children,” said Stahl.
Michael Stahl is Alivia’s father. Friday night, family, friends and the community held a candlelight vigil on the softball field where his little girl used to play.
“I don’t get to watch my baby grow up. I don’t get to watch her have her sweet 16. I don’t get to watch prom. I don’t get to take her and walk her down the aisle to get married, that’s all gone. It’s all gone. I don’t get that,” said Stahl.
With heavy hearts and lit candles, a struggling community came searching for strength. More than 400 people gathered to grieve.
“Hope. The message is always hope,” said Pastor Rice.
Pastor Rice knows more difficult days are ahead.
“Remember that there are always people that love and care and will be there for you even in your darkest times. So many times we feel like we’re alone but we truly are never alone,” said Pastor Rice.
This grieving father is asking every driver to please slow down.
“Why are people in such a rush to go where they’re going, not to pay attention to our children?” asked Stahl.
The victims’ families want the community to know how much the continued support has truly touched them.
“Keep us all in your thoughts and prayers. We hear them,” said Stahl.