NewsArizona News


Driver who killed 3 kids says she didn't realize lights were school bus until too late

Posted at 3:49 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 20:13:10-04

The 24-year-old driver who struck and killed three kids while they crossed the street to board their school bus told police she saw the lights but didn't realize it was a bus until the kids were in front of her. 

Alyssa Shepherd was arrested at her place of employment Tuesday evening in Indiana. She's being charged with three counts of reckless homicide and one count of disregarding the stop arms on a school bus causing injury. 

Police say she was driving a Toyota Tacoma on State Road 25 around 7:30 a.m. when she "disregarded" the stop arm and lights on a stopped school bus in front of a mobile home park, striking four kids who were crossing the street to board the bus. 

Alivia Stahl, 9, and her twin brothers, Xzavier and Mason Ingle, 6, were all pronounced dead at the scene. 

PHOTOS | Three siblings killed at Fulton Co. bus stop

Maverick Lowe, 11, was flown to Parkview Hospital in Ft. Wayne in critical condition with multiple broken bones and internal injuries. His family released a statement on Wednesday saying he is in stable condition and recovering. 

Shepherd was interviewed by Indiana State Police Detective Michelle Jumper following the crash. In a recorded interview, Jumper testified that Shepherd told investigators that she saw the bus lights, but did not immediately recognize it was a school bus and by the time she realized that it was, the kids were in front of her. 

Shepherd told investigators that she doesn't typically drive the route where the crash happened and that she had three children in the back seat of her car during the crash. 

Shepherd is the children's director at Faith Outreach Center, a Foursquare Gospel Church in Rochester. Rev. Terry Baldwin said Wednesday that they are "Fervently praying for the family suffering this tremendous loss and everyone who has experienced this tragedy."

Shepherd was released Tuesday evening on a $15,000 bond. Her next court date has not been scheduled at this time.