APIndiana News

Woman out of prison in school bus crash that killed 3 kids

(Photo Supplied/Indiana State Police)

ROCHESTER, Ind. (AP) — A woman convicted in a 2018 crash that killed three siblings who were crossing a rural northern Indiana highway to board a school bus was released from prison Wednesday, after serving just over two years.

Alyssa Shepherd, 27, was released from the Rockville Correctional Facility, Fulton County Prosecutor Michael Marrs told WNDU-TV. She now faces about three years of home detention with a GPS-monitoring ankle bracelet, followed by three years of probation, he said.

Shepherd was sentenced to four years in prison in December 2019 after being convicted on three counts of reckless homicide in connection with the pickup truck crash that killed 9-year-old Alivia Stahl and the girl’s 6-year-old twin half brothers, Xzavier and Mason Ingle.

A fourth child, Maverik Lowe, was seriously injured and had to undergo more than 20 surgeries.

Based on Indiana’s time served credit rules, Shepherd was slated to be incarcerated until September 2022, but another six months of her sentence were shaved off when she completed a prison Bible study course.

Shepherd was eligible to be released into a community transition program in December, but a judge ruled against that move in November after prosecutors and members of the victims’ families opposed it.

“We obviously wanted more time, executed at the time of sentencing. The judge sentenced her to what he did, which was a 10-year sentence with four years executed, and then she got the time cut,” Marrs said Wednesday.

Michael Schwab, the grandfather of the three siblings who were killed, said Shepherd’s release is a painful reminder that no amount of punishment or time will bring back his grandchildren.

“The story never ends for the family,” Schwab told the South Bend Tribune. “This is a life sentence for our family. Though she was granted early release and allowed to return to her family, there is no early release for our family and the children won’t be returning to us.”

Shepherd’s attorney, Stacy Uliana, declined to comment Wednesday.

Shepherd was driving her pickup truck when she plowed into the four children as they crossed two-lane State Road 25 in Rochester in October 2018. She told authorities she didn’t realize that she was approaching a stopped school bus, despite the activated stop arm and flashing lights.

The Indiana Legislature increased penalties for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses following the crash.

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Judges need to be held accountable for such light sentences March 9, 2022 at 4:48 pm

Alyssa Shepherd is the biggest piece of trash!! 1st) she is too stupid to operate a motor vehicle if she can’t see a stopped school bus with its flashers on, while she proceeded to drive around it!!!! 2nd) she tried to beat the charges, blaming everything but herself on killing 3 kids. 3rd) used a bible course to reduce her time in jail since she couldn’t beat the charges.

I couldn’t find the name of the Judge in any of the AP News article links. That Judge is part of the problem, allowing such little accountability for the loss of nearly an entire family.

brettt March 9, 2022 at 4:53 pm

I’m glad this happened to Alyssa, instead of me.
I know i wouldn’t be able to live with myself knowing that i..
Destroyed a family & Killed 3 little lives (Alivia, Xzavier and Mason)
I just wouldn’t be able to deal with that. i would never be able to make things right.

Then Maverik. His legs will likely never work they way they once did; even after 23 surgeries and more to come..
I couldn’t live with the knowledge that i negatively impacted someone for the rest of their life.

Then the “what if’s”. What if Maverik couldn’t be there for his best friend/cousin because of the accident. Could Maverik have changed the way his cousin felt, and prevented the suicide?

I am just glad i am not Alyssa.
Even being released from prison, wouldn’t release me from my internal prison and torture.

…however when i think about it, i wish i was Alyssa, but only for a moment of time.
Long enough to avoid this senseless tragedy.
Unlike her, i can easily identify a bus, at any time.. night or day.

I wasn’t there, but i feel like she was likely in a hurry, and passed the vehicle.
Only she knows the truth, and i couldn’t cope with it either way.

Please watch for children, buses and bicycles people. And slow down, give yourselves time in the mornings.

Slacker06 March 10, 2022 at 8:53 am

OK all you with vengeance in your heart. Continued castigation of this person will not bring back the dead kids or cure the injured one. She was tried by a jury, found guilty, and served her time, still serving her time. She won’t be driving legally for a very long time. The legislature increased penalties for this kind of offense. In the big blue cities people commit real murder on a regular basis and get out of jail free because of their skin color. If this same thing happened in say Chicago would anyone care? The weekly dead toll there averages about 20 people shot dead. We all need to live by “Do unto others as you would have them do to you. If you expect forgiveness then you need to forgive. One contributing factor is work hours starting while it is still dark and school operations when it is dark out not to mention daylight savings time. Yet there is still only 24 hours in each day so how can one save daylight?. Our society has gone insane.


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