Indiana State Police arrested a 24-year-old woman on felony charges in the deaths of three siblings as they crossed a two-lane road to their school bus.
Alyssa L. Shepherd, 24, of rural Rochester, Indiana was being held in the Fulton County Jail on $15,000 bond. She was charged with three felony counts of reckless homicide, and a misdemeanor count of passing a school bus, with the stop arm extended, causing injury. Media reports indicated Shepherd posted bond Tuesday evening, Oct. 30
State police identified the three deceased children as Xzavier Ingle, 6, his twin brother, Mason Ingle, and their step-sister Alivia Stahl, 9. They all were pronounced dead at the scene. Maverik Lowe, 11, was not related to the other three children, contrary to original reports, and was airlifted to a hospital in Ft. Wayne with critical injuries. As of about 6 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, Lowe was in surgery with multiple broken bones and internal injuries.
Sgt. Chris Kath, the school bus safety coordinator with the Indiana State Police, told attendees at the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Annual Conference Tuesday morning that the incident occurred on rural State Road 25 in rural Fulton County, located about 45 miles south of South Bend. The two-lane road was located outside of a small neighborhood.
According to Kath, a Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation school bus was heading north and stopped with its stop arm extended and flashing red lights activated to load students. However, in what Kath described as low-light conditions, a pickup truck that was driving southbound in the opposite direction struck four middle school students as they crossed the road to the bus. Kath estimated the incident occurred at approximately 6:30 to 6:45 a.m. local time
Three of the students were pronounced dead at the scene, while the fourth student suffered undisclosed injuries but serious enough to be airlifted to a hospital in Ft. Wayne, reported the on-scene officer Sgt. Tony Slocum.
Police also said that both the school bus driver and pickup driver remained at the scene and had submitted to blood draws. There are no further details on any signaling from the bus driver, what were the actual weather and light conditions, or if either driver was speeding.
Editor’s Note: Ryan Gray contributed to this report.