GUILTY IN - Three Children Killed at School Bus Stop, Fulton County, Rochester, 30 Oct 2018 *Arrest*

Discussion in 'Trials' started by Richrd, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    yes but the adult crossing guard may have seen her coming and kept the kids back
     
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  2. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    it's a job ... people need jobs ... heck you might even find volunteers
    in this particular case, the crossing guard may have been alert enough to see the truck coming and stopped the kids from crossing
     
  3. BrownRice

    BrownRice Well-Known Member

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    Nope, not right now. I work for a school corporation in Indiana. Bus drivers make $20/hr, health insurance, paid holidays.

    Not enough drivers. We are short everyday. And so are all the other surrounding schools in our area. Definitely a job seekers market. More jobs available than people willing to work.
     
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  4. IceIce9

    IceIce9 Well-Known Member

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    There is a shortage of drivers here in the Indiana county where I live too. Unemployment is so low here that some of our 24 hour grocery stores have had to start closing from 10:00 pm - 6:00 am because they don’t have enough employees to be open 24 hours anymore.

    Some of our restaurants have been closed during hours they are normally open, they put signs up that say, “Closed due to staffing.”

    There have been two new chain restaurants that have opened several weeks late because they haven’t been able to hire enough employees.

    Everywhere I go there are “Help Wanted” signs.
     
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  5. Lovejac

    Lovejac Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. I have never NOT slowed down and not paid extra close attention when I've seen flashing lights of any color
     
  6. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    Same.
     
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  7. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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  8. IceIce9

    IceIce9 Well-Known Member

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    One local school district is making the recommendation that the start time for the school be moved back 30 minutes. Currently the elementary, middle, and high schools all begin at 7:15 am.

    The proposed change would move the start time from 7:15 to 7:45.

    The school district is soliciting feedback from parents regarding a later start.

    Here in Indiana it is still dark until 8 am from November through spring.

    The current 7:15 start time means kids of all grades are walking to school and waiting for the bus in the dark.
     
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  9. IceIce9

    IceIce9 Well-Known Member

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    Coincidentally, I just now saw on the news that in Cincinnati 13 children have been struck by cars while walking to school in Cincinnati this school year. Terrible.
     
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  10. Jerrod

    Jerrod Well-Known Member

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  11. Jerrod

    Jerrod Well-Known Member

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    Alyssa Shepherd, 24, will go to trial Oct. 15, accused of hitting four children, killing three, while they were getting on a school bus outside of Rochester.

    Shepherd was first charged with three counts of reckless homicide and one count of passing a school bus causing injury the day of the Oct. 30 crash. In February, an additional charge of criminal recklessness resulting in serious bodily injury was added for the child who survived.

    Trial set for woman accused of hitting, killing kids at Rochester bus stop
     
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  12. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Staff Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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  13. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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  14. Mandos

    Mandos Active Member

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    From a legal point of view this is a very interesting case.

    Indiana Reckless Homicide Laws

    "... In general, recklessness refers to actions where a person is aware of, but ignores, a substantial and unjustifiable risk of serious injury to another. The risk must be so great and apparent that to ignore it constitutes a major shift from the standard of care a normal person would exercise under the circumstances. Recklessness can also be established if it is shown that the person acted intentionally or knowingly. Recklessness is commonly charged for motor vehicle accidents, firearms incidents, and acts undertaken while a person is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs..."

    We know the incident happened on a rural, unlit road before sunrise. The bus stop was not illuminated and was known to be at an unsafe location (apparently parents had complained about the unsafe location to the school several times in the past, but nothing was done until the accident). There is no indication Shepherd was either intoxicated or speeding (apparently she was driving a fair bit below the speed limit: 45 mph versus 55 mph, at least according to the driver behind her) or dawdling on her phone. This in itself makes this case highly unusual, since a cursory google search for reckless homicide for motor vehicle accidents shows us that intoxication, speeding or inattention is pretty much always a factor. Not so in this case though.

    Driver said she didn't realize lights were bus

    "... Shepherd told Jumper that she does not typically driver her husband to work, but that she had just dropped him off Tuesday morning and had three children in the back seat of the vehicle. Shepherd said she was not sure how fast she was going but that she is typically a "slow driver."

    She told Jumper that she was not late for anything that morning and that she was taking her little brother to her mother's house so that he could get ready for school.

    Jumper said Shepherd told her she came around the corner and saw the lights, but was not sure what they were and by the time she realized that it was a school bus the kids were right in front of her...."

    The state will either A: have to prove her story isn't true and she intentionally sped past the bus or B: that she acted recklessly (and not merely negligently) by driving (at a speed below the speed limit) towards a vehicle with flashing lights she couldn't immediately identify. I don't think the state can prove A, so this means the main question in this case is the following:

    If you drive on a country road you are not familiar with before sunrise during autumn at or below the speed limit and you encounter a large vehicle with flashing lights, but you can't quite identify what it is, and you try to pass said vehicle without significantly slowing down (or did she slow down? Important thing to keep an eye out for during the trial: Shepherd's speed at the moment of impact!!!! ), are you taking a risk that is so great and apparent that to ignore it constitutes a major shift from the standard of care a normal person would exercise under the circumstances?

    Keep in mind that not every mistake or form of risk taking rises to the level of recklessness. Indeed, she could merely have been negligent, meaning that she merely failed to exercise reasonable or ordinary care. Whether the evidence in this case establishes that the deaths alleged in the indictment occurred from a mere accident, from negligent conduct or from willful and/or wanton misconduct so as to amount to recklessness, is dependent on the weight given the various aspects of the case and the evidence by the jury. Also, the fact that three children died and one was severely injured is not prima facie proof that the defendant acted recklessly. Said fact is actually not germane to the aforementioned question and should be ignored.

    I shall be following this case with great interest.

    She won't. I've googled a lot of cases involving reckless manslaughter in Indiana and to get the maximum there have to be serious aggravating circumstances. Think ramming a car whilst speeding through a stop sign/red light whilst driving under influence and massively exceeding the speed limit and having multiple DUI's in the past. Heck, look at these cases:

    Reckless Frankfort teen receives 6-year sentence for killing sisters

    A teenager whilst speeding under influence rams a home, killing two sisters: two years in prison, two years on community correction in-home detention, followed by two years on probation.

    Culver man sentenced for reckless homicide in crash involving twin brothers

    A man stuffed his car full of aluminum siding and couldn't see out his right passenger window, causing a deadly crash: three years total, of which he spend 60 days in jail and the rest of the three-year sentence on home detention.

    Man sentenced in fatal Indianapolis street racing crash

    A man kills three people after an illegal street race goes wrong. Five years in prison, three years on home detention and six years of probation.

    Man Sentenced for 2018 Speedway Crash

    A man kills a mother and daughter by running the red light and going nearly 90 mph in a 40 mph zone on wet and snowy conditions. Habitual offender. Fourteen year in prison.

    Scroggins gets 24 years for reckless homicide

    A man kills two people and seriously injures a third while driving at 80 and 87 mph at the time of the accident. Witness accounts suggested he was driving in the wrong lane. Had several moving and DUI violations on his record and had been in two serious accidents before. 24 years in prison.

    When you set those cases against the fact the defendant in this case, based on the available information on the media, was not driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, wasn't speeding and wasn't dawdling on her phone and apparently has no priors (last year there was mention of a prior, but that turned out to be a different woman with the same name) she'll get the bare minimum, even if convicted. The fact that she works at a church, is married to a pastor and is a young mother herself will help her even more during sentencing.
     
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  15. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    @Mandos
    Thank you for all that info.
    You're right, her punishment, if convicted, will be within Indiana state laws.

    ETA: The witness in the car behind her stated she didn't slow down.
    What we know about the Indiana bus stop crash, the children and the driver
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  16. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    It appears there was also a school bus warning sign, which would have been visible even in the dark because they're reflective, apprising drivers of a school bus stop ahead.

    Because I live at the bottom of a blind hill, the school dept. put up school bus signs for us when cars kept passing the bus. They put them on both sides of the road so drivers in both direction would be warned.

    Here's an article on the NTSB report with a decent picture of the school bus and road.
    Probable Cause of Fatal Indiana School Bus Stop Crash Remains Undisclosed - STN Media
     
  17. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    Deleting double post.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  18. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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  19. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    Here's what I think may have happened.
    Hard to prove, but the driver is often unaware when they occur (BBM for focus):
    With small children, sleep deprivation is not out of the realm of possibility here. If she knowingly got behind the wheel after a poor night's sleep, that is reckless, at least in my state. Not sure about IN. Again, proving someone is sleep deprived is next to impossible, unless the person mentions it.
    Microsleep: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Prevention
    Driving while sleep deprived is as dangerous as being intoxicated, and just as impairing (Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker, PhD)
     
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  20. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, it keeps double posting on me, heavy sigh.
     

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