FULTON COUNTY, Ind. — Police say the driver who struck and killed three siblings at a Rochester bus stop Tuesday morning has been arrested and charged with three felonies.
24-year-old Alyssa Shepherd, of Rochester, faces three felony counts of reckless homicide and a misdemeanor charge of passing a school bus causing injury.
A warrant was initially issued for her arrest, but ISP says Shepherd was arrested at her place of work, a church in Rochester, just after 4:00 p.m.
The crash happened at around 7:15 a.m. in front of a mobile home park in the 4600 block of N. State Road 25. Indiana State Police say the bus driver put the “STOP” arm down and the four children were boarding the bus when a 2017 Toyota Tacoma going southbound hit them.
Three children died at the scene. They have been identified as twin 6-year-old boys, Xzavier and Mason Ingle, and their 9-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl.
“He didn’t lose one kid, he lost all of his kids. What do you tell your little brother, how do you tell your little brother it’s gonna get better? You can’t,” the children’s uncle, Elgin Ingle, said.
An 11-year-old boy not related to the siblings, later identified as Maverik Lowe, was airlifted in critical condition to a hospital in Fort Wayne. ISP says Lowe is in surgery for internal injuries and multiple broken bones.
“This was a very bad day for the state of Indiana,” ISP Sgt. Tony Slocum said. “First responders don’t usually shed tears at crash scenes but there were some tears shed today and of course they were warranted because our hearts go out to the families involved, to everyone involved.”
The siblings attended Mentone Elementary School and Lowe attended Tippecanoe Valley Middle School. The school bus was from the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation.
“You’re supposed to be able to go to your bus stop and be safe, you’re supposed to get on the bus and be safe,” Ingle said.
The National Transportation Safety Board said they are sending a team to investigate the crash. ISP also has a reconstruction team trying to piece together what happened.
Meanwhile, Ingle raised other concerns too.
“The school’s been warned. This is an issue. We have said this before, they’ve made complaints not just them, other parents. It’s not safe to walk a child across a highway, especially at that time,” Ingle said.
Shepherd was released from jail on a $15,000 bond Tuesday night.
Police are reminding drivers to pay attention on the road and anticipate a school bus may have to stop to let kids on or off.
This is an active investigation.