An Indiana couple is coming to terms with unfathomable tragedy after three of their four children were killed on Tuesday morning while getting on their school bus.
Elgin Ingle, the victims’ uncle, said that his brother is trying to accept that his six-year-old twin boys – Xzavier and Mason Ingle – and his nine-year-old daughter, Alivia, have been killed.
‘He didn’t just lose one kid, he lost all of them,’ Elgin explained to WPTA. ‘All the prayers we can get, that’s all you can ask for. You can’t bring back the kids.’
One sibling has been left behind. At the time of the accident, she had stayed home from school so that she could go to the doctor’s office, Elgin revealed.
A family friend launched a GoFundMe for the Ingles that has raised more than $36,097 of its $100,000 goal.
Two six-year-old twin boys and their nine-year-old sister were killed. They have been identified six-year-old Xzavier and Mason Ingle and nine-year-old Alivia Stahl. One sibling was spared because she didn’t attend school that day
Police confirmed the children were boarding the bus, and the stop-arm was out at the time
Authorities said the children were at the bus stop on the west side of the road and the stop-arm on the bus was out when a pickup truck hit and killed the kids
The horrific car crash took place at 7.30am on Tuesday in rural Rochester, Indiana on a two-lane road near 4600 N. State Road 25.
The children were boarding their yellow school bus that had its stop-arm activated while temporarily parked when a truck traveling in the opposite direction hit the group, Indiana State Police say.
The fourth victim an 11-year-old, identified as Maverik Lowe, was airlifted to Fort Wayne Hospital after suffering multiple broken bones and injuries.
A GoFundMe has been launched for Lowe – who was thrown over 30ft – to accommodate his medical bills and assist his family.
‘He suffered broken ribs, busted knee cap, fractures in his arm and wrist,’ said Jocelynne Lowe on the post. ‘His leg is in pins and rods holding it together. He had plastic surgery already to put his face back together. He has slipped disks in his spine by his neck.’
It has raised just under $16,000 of its 45,000 goal.
The driver of the pickup truck, mother-of-two, 24-year-old Alyssa Shepherd has been arrested and charged with three counts of reckless homicide and one count of passing a school bus and resulting in bodily injury.
Alyssa Shepherd, 24, was charged with three counts of reckless homicide and one count of passing a school bus and resulting in bodily injury
It’s not known was caused Alyssa Shepherd to ignore the stop sign on the school bus. She is pictured here with husband, Neil
The children all attended Mentone Elementary School.
Sgt. Tony Slocum called the accident a ‘terrible tragedy’.
‘They were standing on the west side of the road getting onto the bus, which did have a stop arm activated as required by law and unfortunately, for whatever reason, the person failed to stop and caused three fatalities and at least one injury at this time,’ he said to NBC.
‘I haven’t seen first responders and troopers cry in a long time,’ Slocum said on the fatalities.
‘When the children’s father had to make identification of his children, that was just gut-wrenching. We saw tears today and our hearts just go out to them because most of us have children and we can’t imagine the pain that he felt today. It was heartbreaking It’s still heartbreaking.’
‘We all have a responsibility to make sure our children get to and from school safely,’ Slocum said.
‘When we’re traveling in the early morning hours and early evening hours we’ve got to anticipate school buses are going to be out. When those stop arms are extended, by law, you are required to stop. This is the exact reason why. We don’t want another family to have to go through this.’
The kids were hit by a pickup truck (pictured above) passing in the opposite direction. The damage that has been done to the hood of the car shows just how fast the vehicle was going
Three Rochester, Indiana, children have been killed and a fourth injured while boarding their bus to school at 7.30am on Tuesday
Aerial footage taken by ABC at the scene showed the pick-up truck suffered heavy damage to its front and hood.
Shepherd, who is the mother to two young girls herself, works at the Faith Outreach Center in Rochester, Indiana where she has a role as the Children’s director.
Locals say that people frequently drive over the limit along the rural road in that area.
The bus was heading northbound and the truck was heading southbound. Sgt. Slocum said it’s not clear if that truck was speeding.
The bus driver has been named as Robert Reid.
Police confirmed that three other children were on board the bus at the time.
The Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation, which runs the area where the crash took place, released a statement following the incident.
The truck driver has been identified as 24-year-old Alyssa Shepherd and was cooperating with police
Three children who were from the same family died at the scene – twin six-year-old boys and their nine-year-old sister. The fourth child – an 11-year-old boy – was airlifted to a hospital in Fort Wayne
‘Our school corporation has suffered a tragedy this morning. We have learned of three student fatalities and one student seriously injured and airlifted to a Fort Wayne hospital as they were hit by a vehicle while boarding their bus.
‘We have deployed all school counselors to meet the emotional needs of our staff, students and parents. We are awaiting to learn more confirmed details but wish to ask the community to come together to pray for the families, our students and our staff.’
Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb released a statement Tuesday afternoon.
‘Words cannot express the depth of sorrow Janet and I feel, which only pales in comparison to what family, friends, teachers, classmates and community are feeling right now. Today, and for many more to come, we mourn their loss. I ask Hoosiers around the state to join us by sending your deepest prayers for the strength needed to endure such a time,’ he said.
This was the worst U.S. school bus accident since November 21, 2016, when six children were killed in Tennessee as a bus driver was going 50mph on a narrow road and lost control of the wheel.