Data reveals speed of driver charged in deadly Fulton County bus crash

 Alivia Stahl, Mason & Xzavier Ingle, and Alyssa Shepherd
Alivia Stahl, Mason & Xzavier Ingle, and Alyssa Shepherd (WNDU)
Published: Oct. 17, 2019 at 6:51 PM EDT
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A taped police interview, sibling testimony and driver speed. All were part of separate court testimony Thursday in the deadly bus crash trial in Fulton County.

The crash happened on State Road 25 in Rochester on October 30, 2018. Four children were hit, three were killed. The driver, Alyssa Shepherd, 24, is currently on trial.

The prosecution called Dr. Darin Wolfe, an Indianapolis pathologist, as its first witness of the day.

Wolfe conducted the autopsies on Alivia Stahl, 9, and her six-year-old twin brothers, Mason and Xzavier Ingle. He said all of their injuries were consistent with the crash and many of them were fatal.

He concluded all died from "blunt force trauma," and the medical manner of death was accidental. His said his analysis was "one piece of that puzzle".

Fulton County Sheriff Sgt. Larry Jolly processed Shepherd's driver's license and license plate. Shepherd was taken, by ambulance, to the hospital for a blood draw. Jolly said she was upset but cooperative, and was worried getting to work.

Indiana State Police Detective Michelle Jumper conducted a taped interview with Shepherd a couple hours after the crash. Jurors watched the video, and listened as Shepherd said she saw a vehicle that morning and didn't know what it was, but she said she did see kids.

Shepherd said she had just dropped her husband at work. Her three-year-old daughter, two-year-old son, and 12-year-old brother were in the back seat of her Toyota Tacoma truck. Her brother had spent the night at her house, and she was taking him to her mother's home to get dressed so she could take him to school.

Shepherd said her children were sleeping and her brother was talking about schoolwork. She said her phone was on the truck's console.

Shepherd said it was dark that morning and told Det. Jumper, "I tried stopping but it was so too late."

At that point Brittany and Shane Ingle, parents of the three children killed, left the courtroom.

In the video, Shepherd also she tried calling 911, but it didn't go through. So she dialed a friend, a dispatcher, who called for help.

Shepherd also said she was crying on scene, and screaming "I hit kids! I hit kids!"

Det. Jumper told the defense that Shepherd was "very upset and scared" during the time they were together. The prosecution then asked her if Shepherd asked about the scene or the children. The detective said "no".

The prosecution also called Shepherd's brother, who is now 13, to the stand. He told jurors, "I saw an object that I thought was a semi or oversized load," but he couldn't remember the conversation between him and his sister in her truck.

The prosecuting attorney then read part of his initial statement to police where he'd said, "We saw a bus or oversized load. We tried to go around but saw five kids standing there."

Indiana State Police Lt. Terry Gose testified to data from Alyssa Shepherd's truck after the accident. At 2.8 seconds from impact he said it was traveling 58.4 miles per hour. At .8 seconds it was 55.9 mph, and during impact her speed dropped to 41 miles per hour.

The beginning of testimony was also delayed by three hours Thursday morning. The judge revealed that the court received written communication of juror bias. Each of the 14 jurors was then questioned, individually.

The judge said the court found no bias, but one juror asked to be excused and was allowed.

The prosecution continues Friday morning.