Rural Rochester – Today, at approximately 4:09 p.m. an investigation by officers from the Indiana State Police resulted in the arrest of Alyssa L. Shepherd, 24, rural Rochester, IN. She was arrested at her place of employment, in Rochester, IN, when officers served her with a Fulton Superior Court arrest warrant. The warrant alleged three felony charges for reckless homicide and a misdemeanor count for passing a school bus, with the stop arm extended, causing injury. She was being held in the Fulton County Jail with a surety bond of $15,000.
This morning at approximately 7:15 a.m., officers from the Indiana State Police and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department responded to a single vehicle crash which resulted in the deaths of three elementary age children, and critical injuries to an 11 year-old boy.
The preliminary crash investigation revealed that Robert Reid, 46, Claypool, IN, was driving a 2015 Thomas school bus, northbound on State Road 25. Reid stopped the school bus in front of a mobile home park at 4684 North State Road 25. He activated the buses’ stop arm and exterior lighting, as he was picking up children from the westside of the road. As children crossed the road, to get on the bus, four children were allegedly hit by a southbound 2017 Toyota Tacoma, driven by Alyssa Shepherd, 24, rural Rochester, IN.
Three children, Xzavier Ingle, his twin brother, Mason Ingle, both six, and their sister, Alivia Stahl, nine, all died at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash. Maverik Lowe, 11, was flown, via Samaritan Helicopter, to Parkview Hospital in Ft. Wayne. At last check, he was in surgery with multiple broken bones and internal injuries.
The six year-old boys, and their sister, attended Mentone Elementary School. Lowe attended Tippecanoe Valley Middle School. The school bus was from the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation.
This is an active investigation. No further information will be released at this time.
Assisting at the crash scene were the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, the Rochester School Corporation, the Rochester and Mentone Fire Departments, Lutheran EMS, and the Fulton County Coroner’s Office.
All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
SOURCE: News release from Indiana State Police
Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation released the following statement:
“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 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.”
Statement from the Office of Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb:
“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.”