Never Again: Fathers of bus stop victims speak as legislation advances to IN Senate
The bus stop accident in October 2018 left three Fulton County children dead, one seriously injured and families devastated.
Two fathers at the heart of this one tragedy spoke at Wednesday's Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Mike Stahl is the father of 9-year old victim Alivia Stahl. Her 6-year old twin brothers, Mason and Xzavier Ingle, also died. The boys’ father, Shane Ingle, also spoke Wednesday.
Stahl was the first to testify in support of stronger school bus safety laws.
“As a firefighter, as a father, as a truck driver for 10 years, I can tell you there are steps that we can take,” Stahl said.
Sen. Randy Head’s bill has taken shape with new amendments. Here’s what the bill looks like now:
- Tougher penalties for violators
- Curbside drop-offs and pickups on Indiana highways to prevent children from crossing the road
- The ability for school districts to petition for slower speeds in school zones
- An emphasis on school bus traffic rules at the BMV when renewing or getting a license
- Allow schools to use stop arm cameras
“I think if someone runs a school bus stop arm or stop sign and violates the flashing lights – and they keep doing it, they keep getting ticketed or charged, they keep getting convicted – the penalties have got to get worse, because they’re not getting it,” Head said. “And they’re jeopardizing the lives of children.”
Ingle also addressed the senators expressing support for their work.
“I 100 percent support all of the amendments and the whole bill,” Ingle said. “As a parent, our kids were, are, the most important thing. And our kids are making a difference. Our kids are providing safety for other kids.”
Next up, the full Indiana Senate will take up the bill, and more amendments could be added.
If you would like to lend your support to this bill or other bus safety legislation, we’ve made it easy for you. To to find your state legislators,
Also out Wednesday was a very preliminary report on the Rochester crash by the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB.
The federal agency says it is gathering more information on the transportation policies in the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation to learn more about bus loading and unloading on high-speed roads.
The NTSB is also looking into similar crashes in Georgia and Mississippi. It says all aspects of the Rochester crash remain under investigation.
Brittany Ingle, the mother of all three victims, was unable to attend Wednesday's legislative hearing due to illness. She told Tricia Sloma the following:
*MAXSTRONG is derived from the first initials of the children’s names – Mason, Alivia, Xzavier
Tricia Sloma and NewsCenter 16 will continue to follow this story as we look for ways to keep children safe in our series, Never Again: Preventing bus stop tragedies.
- Never Again: Preventing bus stop tragedies
- North Liberty mom records bus stop violators in front of her house
- Alivia Stahl's dad: In his own words
- Never Again: Parents of children killed at bus stop lobby for legislation
- Never Again: Using legislation to prevent bus stop tragedies
- Rochester Community Schools gets hefty bus stop arm camera donation
- Never Again: Rochester school buses to be equipped with stop arm cameras
- Never Again: The dangers bus drivers deal with on the road - Part 1
- Never Again: School bus drivers debate road dangers - Part 2