A woman accused of hitting and killing three children while they crossed the street for a school bus has pled Not Guilty to charges of reckless homicide on Thursday.
Alyssa Shepherd, 24, of Rochester, faces three counts of reckless homicide and one misdemeanor count of passing a school bus when the arm signal device is extended, causing bodily injury, WMAQ reports.
A Tippecanoe Valley School Corp. bus had stopped and lowered its stop arm around 7 a.m. on the road near Rochester just before a northbound pickup truck slammed into the children as they crossed the southbound lane, Indiana State Police Sgt. Tony Slocum said.
Shepherd allegedly told police she saw the bus lights, but did not recognize it was a school bus.
Six-year-old twin brothers Xzavier and Mason Ingle and their 9-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl, died at the scene, he said.
An 11-year-old boy not related to the deceased siblings suffered multiple broken bones when he was also hit by the pickup.
Shepherd also told police she had three children in her backseat when the crash happened.
Alivia’s father attended the hearing and said he prays for Shepherd’s family, and asked that those who have made threats against her family to stop.
“It’s not helping the situation. It doesn’t help the prosecutors. It doesn’t help the justice system. It doesn’t help us. And it doesn’t do my daughter justice or the other people who are affected by this,” he told WSBT-TV.
Stahl said his focus is on his other daughter, an 11-year-old who was at the doctor’s office on the day of the crash.