Alyssa Shepherd, driver charged in Indiana bus crash that killed 3 children, pleads not guilty

EMBED </>More Videos

An Indiana woman charged in an crash that killed three children at a school bus stop pleaded not guilty in court Thursday morning.

A northern Indiana woman accused of striking and killing three children with a pickup truck as they crossed a highway to board a school bus entered a preliminary not guilty plea Thursday.

Alyssa Shepherd, 24, appeared before a Fulton County judge on three counts of reckless homicide. The Rochester, Indiana, woman also faces one misdemeanor count of passing a school bus when an arm signal device is extended, causing bodily injury.

Shepherd was driving a pickup truck before dawn Oct. 30 when she struck four children who were crossing a two-lane road to board a Tippecanoe Valley School Corp. bus near Rochester, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Indianapolis.

RELATED: Twin boys, 6, and 9-year-old sister fatally struck at school bus stop in Indiana

Six-year-old twin brothers Xzavier and Mason Ingle, and their 9-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl, were killed. An 11-year-old boy who was severely injured in the crash remains hospitalized in Fort Wayne.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday for Shepherd's attorney.

Shepherd told authorities she didn't realize that she was approaching a stopped school bus, despite the activated stop arm and flashing lights. Court documents show Shepherd told police she saw the lights but didn't recognize the vehicle as a school bus until the children were right in front of her.

RELATED: Alyssa Shepherd, driver charged in Indiana bus crash that killed 3 children, pleads not guilty

Alivia's father, Michael Stahl, attended Thursday's hearing and said afterward that he prays for Shepherd's family. He 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 now his other daughter, who is 11 and was at a doctor's appointment on the day of the crash. He said she is struggling with emotions that no child should have to face.

"A child that age shouldn't have to grow up that fast," he told the South Bend Tribune.
Related Topics:
child killedu.s. & worldpedestrian struckchildren hit by carpedestrian killedschool busIndiana
(Copyright ©2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)