WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will hold a meeting next month to determine the probable cause of a 2018 crash in Indiana that killed three students and injured another as they were trying to board their bus.
The NTSB’s meeting, which will be conducted by investigative staff and board members, will take place on April 7 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the federal agency announced in a news release on Tuesday. It is open to the public.
The meeting will also be webcast. A link to the webcast will be available shortly before the start of the meeting here.
As School Bus Fleet previously reported, the crash occurred on Oct. 30, 2018, in Rochester, Ind., when motorist Alyssa Shepherd illegally passed a stopped school bus that was stopped and had its warning lights and stop arm deployed. Shepherd told investigators that she didn’t see the bus or the students until it was too late to stop. She received three felony charges for reckless homicide and a misdemeanor count for passing a school bus with the stop arm extended, causing injury.
According to the NTSB’s preliminary report on the crash from February 2019, as SBF previously reported, Shepherd struck the four students, killing 6-year-old twins, later identified as Xzavier and Mason Ingle and their 9-year-old sister, later identified as Alivia Stahl, and seriously injuring an 11-year-old boy, later identified as Maverick Lowe.
The report also states that the roadway at the location of the crash is a two-lane highway and has a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour. At the time of the crash, two warning signs, one that said “Watch for School Bus” and another that read “Left Curve” were posted for the road’s southbound traffic, the preliminary report notes. There was no lighting at the road at that location and a mobile home park was located to the west of the road, according to the report.
To support this investigation, the agency is also investigating two additional crashes that involved school bus loading and unloading: one in Georgia, and the other in Mississippi.
As SBF previously reported, Shepherd was convicted in October of felony reckless homicide, as well as of a felony count of criminal recklessness, and a misdemeanor count for passing a school bus causing injury when the stop arm is extended, for the crash. She was sentenced in December to four years in prison and three years of house arrest, three years of probation, and her driver’s license was suspended for 10 years. She is appealing her conviction.