Alivia Stahl, Mason Xzavier Ingle, and Alyssa Shepherd
The driver of the truck, Alyssa Shepherd, 24, of rural Rochester, was arrested Tuesday afternoon. She has been charged with three counts of reckless homicide and one count of passing a school bus with its safety arm extended and causing injury.
Indiana State Police confirm Shepherd had her two young children in the truck at the time of the collision, as well as her younger brother, who police say is a minor. None of the passengers was injured.
A fourth child was injured and airlifted to a Fort Wayne hospital. He was identified as 11-year-old Maverik Lowe. He suffered multiple broken bones and injuries. Police say he was conscious at the hospital and is not related to the other children who were hit.
“This school has been warned, this has been an issue, we have said this before,” Ingle said. “They’ve made complaints, other parents. It’s not safe to walk a child across a highway, especially at that time because everyone’s going to work at that time.”
Our school corporation has suffered a tragedy this morning. We have learned of three student fatalities and one student seriously injured and airlifted to a Fort Wayne hospital as they were hit by a vehicle while boarding their bus.
We are awaiting to learn more confirmed details but wish to ask the community to come together to pray for the families, our students and our staff.
Words cannot express the depth of sorrow Janet and I feel, which only pales in comparison to what family, friends, teachers, classmates and community are feeling right now. Today, and for many more to come, we mourn their loss. I ask Hoosiers around the state to join us by sending your deepest prayers for the strength needed to endure such a time.
“I walked up to one of tenants in the trailer park. And I asked, ‘What happened?’ I turned my phone off right away because I didn’t…I didn’t want to videotape that. Three — I’m not going to say her name — three of her kids were killed instantly,” the neighbor said.