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VERDICT: Shepherd found guilty on charges stemming from deadly school bus crash

ROCHESTER, Ind. (WPTA21) – A woman whose pickup truck plowed into a group of children at an Indiana bus stop, killing three of them, has been found guilty on all counts.

Alyssa Shepherd was convicted on five criminal charges, including three counts of reckless homicide.

The week-long trial concluded with about three-hours of juror deliberations.

The case went to the jury around 3:30 p.m. Prosecutors had argued that it was inexcusable and inexplicable for Shepherd to mistake the big yellow bus with flashing lights for anything else.

It was still dark the morning of October 30, 2018, when her pickup truck slammed into four children, killing three and severely injuring the lone survivor.

The defense characterized the crash as a tragic accident, and noted that school district officials had neglected to move the bus stop to a safer spot than the side of the highway.

Shepherd herself testified at the scene and afterward that she felt like she was having an out-of-body experience.

She went to trial facing the possibility of more than 21 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

The wreck triggered new legislation in Indiana, toughening penalties for drivers who ignore bus stop arms. Communities across Indiana — including several in the ABC21 viewing area — implemented additional crackdowns on traffic violations related to school bus stops.

Sentencing for Shepherd is set for Dec. 18.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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