A woman who did not yield to the flashing lights and stop arm on a school bus was convicted of multiple charges on Oct. 18 for the deaths of three siblings and injuries to another child.
The incident was a factor in the introduction of legislation that would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to tackle illegal school bus passing by motorists.
Alyssa Shepherd, 24, was charged after her pickup struck the four children on Oct. 30, 2018, as they crossed a road to board their school bus. The collision killed twin brothers Xzavier and Mason Ingle, six, and their sister, Alivia Stahl, nine. Maverik Lowe, 11, was injured.
Shepherd’s truck and the bus were traveling in opposite directions on the two-lane state highway.
A jury in Fulton Superior Court in Fulton County, Indiana, returned guilty verdicts on three felony counts of reckless homicide, one felony count of criminal recklessness and a misdemeanor count of passing a school bus causing injury when the arm is extended. Shepherd could receive up to 21-1/2 years in prison when she is sentenced in December.
During her trial, Shepherd testified that she saw the flashing lights but thought the vehicle she was approaching was a farm tractor. A driver who was following her pickup truck testified that he had recognized the vehicle as a school bus with its warning lights flashing and stop arm extended.