It’s been one year since three children were hit and killed while waiting at the bus stop in Rochester, Indiana near Fort Wayne. Now the trial for the woman accused of hitting those children got underway in northern Indiana Tuesday.
On the morning of October 30th, police said Alyssa Shepherd went around a school bus that was stopped with its lights flashing and stop arm extended on a state highway in Rochester.
As she came around the bus her pickup truck slammed into 6-year-old twins Xzavier and Mason Ingle, their 9-year-old sister Alivia Stahl and one other child who was badly hurt.
Police arrested Shepherd later that day and booked her into the Fulton County Jail. But now, the tragedy has divided the town of Rochester. Residents say it’s unfortunate for everyone involved.
“It’s definitely divided the community,” says Henry Baugh, Rochester resident. “You want to take both sides, and you don’t know exactly what side you want to take.”
They hope this trial will bring closure to a subject that has consumed their community for the past year.
Rochester resident Michael White says, “I know some people wish harm with her and her family. You know others like me feel like she suffered a lot, obviously; she didn’t mean to do what she did that day.”
If convicted of all charges shepherd could face 21 and a half years behind bars. Since the incident, the school district has relocated the bus stop to a safer location. State lawmakers have also passed a law that enforces stricter punishments for drivers who illegally pass a stopped school bus.
They even named it Max Strong in honor of Mason, Alivia, and Xzavier.