A 24-year-old woman is facing reckless homicide charges after a pickup truck she was driving struck and killed three siblings who were crossing the road to get to their school bus, Indiana State Police said.
Six-year-old twin boys, Xzavier Ingle and Mason Ingle, and their 9-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl, were killed Tuesday morning in rural Rochester, authorities said in a statement.
An 11-year-old student who is not related to the siblings was also struck by the 2017 Toyota Tacoma. The child was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, including multiple broken bones, state police spokesman Sgt. Tony Slocum told CNN.
Alyssa L. Shepherd, of Rochester, was arrested at her workplace. The arrest warrant alleges three felony counts of reckless homicide and a misdemeanor count of passing a school bus with the stop arm extended, causing injury.
Shepherd, who had remained at the scene following the incident, was being held on a $15,000 bond. It was not immediately clear whether she had an attorney.
The incident occurred just before dawn. The school bus was on a two-lane road when it stopped for the children, with the stop arm extended and the emergency lighting activated, police said.
The children were standing on the opposite side of the road and had stepped out to cross to the bus when they were hit by the Toyota.
“Our hearts go out to all involved, it’s a pretty sad day here in Indiana,” Slocum told CNN. “It’s all our responsibilities to make sure our young people get to school safely, and return safely. When that stop arm is extended, by law, you’re required to stop, and that’s to avoid a tragic situation.”
Rochester is about 50 miles west of Fort Wayne in central Indiana.
The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to investigate the crash.