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Judge gives driver in Rochester bus tragedy 4 years behind bars

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FULTON COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) - A Fulton County woman who ran through a stop arm and struck four children getting on a school bus, killing three of them, learned her sentence Wednesday.

A judge sentenced 25-year-old Alyssa Shepherd, who was convicted of five criminal charges in October, to 10 years, with four years to be served in the department of corrections, and three years on home detention.

At Alyssa Shepherd's sentencing hearing, the mother of the twin boys who was struck and killed last year charged at Shepherd. Deputies walked her out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

She will serve the remaining three years on probation.

Brittany Ingle, the mother of the two twin boys who were struck and killed, charged at Shepherd during the hearing, getting close enough to her to strike her in the neck or head.

She was walked out in handcuffs and preliminarily charged with misdemeanor battery.

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

She faced a maximum possible sentence of 21 1/2 years on three counts of Reckless homicide, one count of criminal recklessness and one misdemeanor count of passing a school bus with its stop arm extended, causing bodily injury.

Alyssa Shepherd was behind the wheel of a pickup truck that struck the children as they were boarding a school bus in Fulton County, Ind.

On Oct. 31, 2018, Shepherd was driving her Toyota pickup truck down a state highway outside Rochester in the pitch black before dawn when she came upon a school bus heading the opposite direction that was stopped to pick up young kids.

She barely let off the gas before hitting and killing 6-year-old twin boys Xzavier and Mason Ingle and their 9-year-old sister Alivia Stahl.

12-year-old Maverik Lowe, who was hit too, survived, but it has been a slow, grueling recovery.

Shepherd testified at trial that she didn't realize the flashing lights she encountered were from a bus.

But that didn't sway the jury that found her guilty of all charges.

Prosecutors said that given the circumstances and that she's a first-time offender, giving her the maximum sentence would not be appropriate.

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.

ABC21's Jeff Neumeyer is in Rochester and will have live reports at 5 p.m.

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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