ABC News is reporting that the driver in a crash that took the lives of three siblings has been charged in connection with the deadly accident.
The three siblings and another child, who was seriously injured, were hit by a pickup truck just as they were about to get on their school bus in Rochester, Indiana. Sadly, nine-year-old Alicia Stahl and her identical six-year-old twin brothers, Mason and Xzavier Ingle, were killed in the accident, and a third child, 11-year-old Maverik Lowe, endured several broken bones.
Alyssa Shepherd, age 24, who was the driver of the pickup truck, was taken into custody. She has been charged with disregarding a stop sign, causing injury, and three counts of reckless homicide. She is now facing up to 18 years in prison and has since been released on a $15,000 bond.
All four of the children were crossing a two-lane road from their mobile home park to get on the school bus when they were hit by Shepherd’s Toyota Tacoma. The preliminary investigation has shown that the school bus had followed the proper protocol, having its stop sign arm out and its lights flashing at the time the children were hit.
Shepherd remained on the scene after the accident and has been cooperating with police so far, submitting to tests for drugs and alcohol. She told officers that she did see the flashing lights on the bus but did not realize that it was a school bus at the time, so she did not believe that she had to stop. She was reportedly driving 45 miles per hour at the time of the accident, which is ten miles under the 55-mile-per-hour limit on that road.
The bus driver was unable to do anything about the incident but did hit his horn at the last second in an attempt to warn the children, according to witness Maggie Jo Wilson, who also said that the bus was clearly visible at the time of the crash. The witness also said there was nothing that the driver could have done and was very distraught at the scene.
All three of the victims went to the Mentone Elementary school, where Alivia had recently made the honor roll. Lowe, who has already undergone two surgeries and will need further care, attends Tippecanoe Valley Middle School.
In the wake of the tragic accident, the school district has come under some fire for having a bus stop on a road that has such a high speed limit. They will now be relocating that bus stop to a park nearby, and the district is also taking a closer look at the safety of all of its bus stops with the help of a special investigation team.
Drivers not paying attention on the road cause devastating accidents just like this one across the nation every day. If you have been injured by a careless or reckless driver, be sure to speak to an experienced bus accident lawyer Denver, CO relies on about your case today.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into bus accidents and personal injury claims.