ROCHESTER — A four-day jury trial for Alyssa Shepherd, who is accused of killing three children and severely injuring a fourth child in a school bus-related accident, is set to begin tomorrow in Fulton County Superior Court.
Three of the children, six-year-old twins Xzavier and Mason Ingle; and their sister, nine-year-old Alivia Stahl, died at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash. The three siblings all attended Mentone Elementary School. A fourth child, Maverik Lowe, sustained multiple broken bones and internal injuries.
On Oct. 30, 2018, a school bus was traveling north on SR 25 and stopped in front of a mobile home park at 4684 N. SR 25 to pick up children from the west side of the road. The driver activated the bus stop arm and exterior lighting. As children crossed the roadway to get on the bus, the four children were hit by a southbound 2017 Toyota Tacoma, driven by Shepherd.
Shepherd, 25, is charged with three counts of reckless homicide, all level 5 felonies; passing a school bus while the arm is extended where bodily injury results, a class A misdemeanor; and criminal recklessness where committed aggressive driving results in serious bodily injury, a level 6 felony. In this case, she is being represented by Attorneys David W. Newman and Michael J. Tuszynski of Stanley Tuszynski and Newman, South Bend.
According to testimony from a probable cause hearing, Indiana State Police Detective Michelle Jumper spoke with Shepherd regarding the incident.
“She [Shepherd] said that she came around that corner, she saw that there was something with lights,” said Jumper. “She just knew it was something big that had lights, she did not recognize it immediately as a school bus. In fact, she said she was trying to figure out what it was. She knows she dimmed her headlights for it but she couldn’t make out what it was and by the time she realized…the kids were right there in front of her.”
The jury selection process is scheduled to begin tomorrow and last all day. Six reporters from local media organizations, including InkFreeNews, will be attending the trial.