ROCHESTER, Ind. (WISH) – On Tuesday morning, the National Transportation Safety Board released its report and recommendations on the fatal 2018 Rochester school bus crash.
The fatal crash happened in October 2018 on State Road 25 near Rochester as a group of students crossed the road to get on their bus.
The crash killed 6-year-old twin brothers Xzavier and Mason Ingle and their 9-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl as Alyssa Shepherd struck the children with her pickup truck.
According to the NTSB, the route of any school bus should not require a child to cross a street in the dark, early morning hours where the posted speed limit is 55 mph. The board found that the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation did not provide an adequate safety assessment of their bus routes.
The board also said there is a need for greater use of technology in order to prevent fatal crashes such as the Rochester crash. Additionally, the report stated that the Indiana Department of Education’s training for school transportation directors isn’t adequate. It doesn’t give enough information about examining the safety of school bus routes and potential hazards associated with those routes, according to the NTSB.
The NTSB recommended implementing new technologies in order to lower the instances of people illegally passing school buses, better training for the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation’s school bus drivers in crossing procedures and for the school system to start a process in order to track complaints about school bus route safety.
In October 2019, Alyssa Shepherd was convicted of three counts of reckless homicide, criminal recklessness and passing a school bus, causing injury. In December 2019, Shepherd was sentenced to four years.