Driver Charged in Crash that Killed Twin Brothers, 6, and Big Sister, 9, While Boarding School Bus
Alyssa Shepherd, 24, was charged with three counts of reckless homicide
An Indiana woman has been charged with reckless homicide, accused of fatally striking three siblings with her truck as they crossed the road to board a school bus on Tuesday.
Alyssa Shepherd, 24, was taken into custody on Tuesday afternoon. She was charged with three counts of reckless homicide and one misdemeanor count of disregarding a stop sign and causing injury, PEOPLE confirms. According to court records, she was taken to the Fulton County Jail, and released Tuesday night on a $15,000 surety bond.
Alivia Stahl, 9, and her 6-year-old twin brothers Xzavier and Mason Ingle were killed in the crash that occurred at about 7 a.m. in Rochester.
“They were struck by southbound 2017 Toyota Tacoma driven by a 24-year-old female,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum told reporters at the scene as seen in a video obtained by the South Bend Tribune.
“The investigation has shown that a school bus was traveling northbound and stopped, put its stop-arm up and had all the emergency lighting that is on the bus activated. The children then started to cross into the roadway and they were struck by the southbound vehicle,” Slocum said of the Mentone Elementary School students.
A fourth child, an 11-year-old boy, was also struck. He was transported to a Fort Wayne hospital in a medical helicopter and remains in critical condition. “He has multiple broken bones. My last report was that he was conscious so that’s a good thing,” according to Slocum. The boy was not related to the children who were killed.
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At the time of the incident, there were other children at the bus stop. No children were on the bus.
“It’s a very delicate situation. Just a very, very sad situation,” Slocum told reporters. “There are young children who might have witnessed a very catastrophic event. It’s a very hard scene. I haven’t seen troopers cry in a long time.”
Slocum added, “The father had to come out and identify his children, it was excruciating.”
A GoFundMe page, with a $100,000 goal, was created to benefit the Ingle family.
The Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation released a statement on Facebook Tuesday morning.
“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,” the statement said. “We have deployed all school counselors to meet the emotional needs of our staff, students and parents. 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.”
Court records do not reflect whether Shepherd has retained an attorney. She did immediately return PEOPLE’s messages for comment.