Driver arrested said she didn’t recognize Rochester bus until it was too late

ROCHESTER, Ind. – New details have been released regarding the 24-year-old driver who police say struck four children Tuesday, killing three siblings.

In a court hearing Wednesday, police relayed information from what Alyssa Shepherd told them after the crash. The school bus driver and a witness also gave statements to authorities, which were relayed in court.

Four children were in the process of crossing the road to board the bus when they were struck by Shepherd's truck.

Two twin boys, 6-year-olds Xzavier and Mason Ingle, and their sister, 9-year-old Alivia Stahl, were killed. The fourth child, 11-year-old Maverik Lowe, was airlifted to a hospital in Fort Wayne. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and his family said Wednesday he is now in “stable” condition.

A witness driving behind Shepherd estimated she was driving  around 45 mph and said the bus was very visible, despite being dark out. The witness told police that she slowed down for the bus, but Shepherd did not.

Shepherd reportedly told authorities she was returning from driving her husband to work, and had three kids in the truck at the time, including her little brother. She said she dropped off her husband at work prior to the crash.

Police then said Shepherd told them she didn't know how fast she was going, but she typically doesn't drive fast. She reportedly came around the corner, saw something with lights, and didn't recognize it was a school bus until it was too late.

The bus driver told police he thought Shepherd's truck was a good distance away and waved the children across the highway. He then said he realized the truck was not stopped and honked, but it was too late.

Shepherd was arrested at her place of employment Tuesday just after 4 p.m. She has been charged with three counts of reckless homicide and one misdemeanor count of passing a school bus causing injury.

The Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation  says the bus stop will be moved from State Road 25 to Meiser Park.

Family said they previously reached out to say it's not safe for kids to cross the highway, especially at the time of the morning when it`s still dark.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to review the crash.

According to the Indiana Department of Education an alarming number of Hoosiers ignore school bus warning signs and endanger children across the state. Within the past year the department says 554,760  stop arm violations have occurred. 

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