ROCHESTER, Ind. — The motorist who was involved in a crash that killed three students and injured another as they were trying to board their school bus last October, has been convicted of felony reckless homicide, WNDU reports.
As SBF previously reported, on Oct. 30, Alyssa Shepherd was driving a pickup truck along State Road 25 when she struck and killed 6-year-old twins Xzavier and Mason Ingle and their sister, 9-year-old Alivia Stahl, as they were crossing the street to board their bus. A fourth student, 11-year-old Maverik Lowe, was airlifted to a nearby hospital with multiple broken bones and internal injuries.
During a probable cause hearing for the crash, Shepherd reportedly told investigators that she didn’t see the bus or the students until it was too late to stop. The bus apparently had its lights flashing and stop arm extended at the time.
On Friday afternoon, a jury found Shepherd, 25, guilty of three counts of reckless homicide, a felony count of criminal recklessness, and a misdemeanor count for passing a school bus causing injury when the stop arm is extended, according to WNDU. She faces a maximum of 21-and-a-half years in prison and remains free on bail until her sentencing, which is scheduled for Dec. 18, the news source reports.
The fatal crash has prompted several pieces of legislation to improve school bus safety, including Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s school bus safety law. The new law, which went into effect on July 1, cracks down on motorists who illegally pass school buses, establishes requirements for bus safety practices, and allows reimbursement for stop-arm camera equipment. In August, Holcomb also announced the use of $380,000 in grant funding from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute for increased traffic enforcement near school bus stops across the state.