ROCHESTER, Ind. – A community is in mourning after an unimaginable tragedy – three siblings were killed while walking to their school bus on Tuesday morning.
And now the uncle of those children is speaking out, saying the family previously told the school their bus pickup location is unsafe.
Investigators say around 7:15 a.m. the children’s Tippecanoe Valley school bus had its “STOP” arm out on North State Road 25 in Rochester.
Four children were in the process of crossing the road to board the bus when they were struck by a pickup truck.
Two twin boys, 6-year-olds Xzavier and Mason Ingle, and their sister, 9-year-old Alivia Stahl, were killed.
The fourth child, 11-year-old Maverik Lowe, was airlifted to a hospital in Fort Wayne. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and his family said Wednesday he is now in “stable” condition.
Lowe’s parents issued this statement:
“We would like to thank those who have prayed for our family and the families of those involved in yesterday’s tragedy. Maverik is currently in stable condition. Our family is focused on his recovery at this time and requests privacy as we heal together.”
Alyssa Shepherd, 24, was the driver of the pickup truck. She was charged with three felony counts of reckless homicide and a misdemeanor charge of passing a school bus causing injury.
Elgin Ingle is the uncle of those siblings. He says the family previously reached out to school officials to say it`s not safe for kids to cross the highway, especially at the time of the morning when it`s still dark.
“The school’s been warned. This is an issue. We have said this before. We’ve made complaints, not just them other parents. It’s not safe to walk a child across a highway especially at that time because everybody’s going to work at that time,” Ingle told WGN.
Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation has not yet responded to that.
“This could have been prevented there’s nothing my brother or his wife did that could have made this happen. There’s nothing they could do to stop it from happening. You’re supposed to be able to go to your bus stop and be safe. You’re supposed to get on the bus stop and be safe,” Ingle said.
Investigators with Indiana State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board will be back out at the scene of the crash today. They’re still trying to figure out what led up to the crash.