Woman Convicted of Killing 3 Kids in Bus Stop Crash: 'She Totally Stole Their Lives,' Family Says
Alyssa Shepard was found guilty of three felony counts of reckless homicide, a felony count of criminal recklessness and a misdemeanor
An Indiana woman, who was charged nearly one year ago with fatally striking three siblings with her truck as they crossed the road to board a school bus, was convicted Friday of reckless homicide.
A Fulton County jury found Alyssa Shepard, 25, guilty of three felony counts of reckless homicide, a felony count of criminal recklessness and a misdemeanor count for passing the school bus when the arm was extended, which resulted in injury, USA Today reported.
Shepard will face up to 21½ years on each count, should she be given the maximum sentence.
On Oct. 30, 2018, around 7 a.m., Shepard was driving a 2017 Toyota Tacoma southbound down a highway near Rochester when she struck Alivia Stahl, 9, and her 6-year-old twin brothers Xzavier and Mason Ingle at the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation school bus stop.
“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,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum told reporters at the scene as seen in a video obtained by the South Bend Tribune.
Shepard also struck a fourth child, Maverik Lowe, 11, who is still recovering from his injuries and has had more than 20 surgeries over the past year, USA Today reported.
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The afternoon after the crash, Shepard was taken into custody and charged with three counts of reckless homicide and one misdemeanor count of disregarding a stop sign and causing injury, PEOPLE confirmed at the time.
According to court records, she was taken to the Fulton County Jail and released that night on a $15,000 bond.
On Friday, Shepard’s fourth day of testimony continued in Fulton Superior Court. According to ABC 57, this was the first day she had spoken about the crash, sharing that she did not see a bus or the sign telling her to stop.
However, when Shepard realized what happened after the crash, she said, “I was a mess.”
After the verdict was announced, Shane and Brittany Ingle, parents of the twins who were struck, and Michael Stahl, Brittany’s former husband, and Alivia’s father, told USA Today that they did not believe Shepard ever showed remorse for the crash.
“I don’t think we’ll ever feel closure,” Brittany told the outlet. “But this will go toward healing.”
She added, “They didn’t even get time to enjoy life. She totally stole their lives.”
Shepard’s attorney on the case, Michael Tuszynski, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Since the crash, the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation bus stop has been relocated to a safer area and penalties have been increased for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses according to USA Today.
Shepard’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18, ABC 57 reported. Until then, she remains out of custody.