The trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday for a northern Indiana woman accused of striking and killing three children with a pickup truck as they crossed a highway to board a school bus last year.
Alyssa Shepherd, 25, of Rochester, Indiana, was charged with three counts of reckless homicide in the crash that took place on the morning of Oct. 30 near 4600 N. State Road 25 in Fulton County.
Also facing one misdemeanor count of passing a school bus when an arm signal device is extended, causing bodily injury, Shepherd entered a plea of not guilty to all charges.
"There’s a lot of anxiety knowing what my family is going through (during the) next couple of days," the grandfather of the victims Michael Schwab said.
Authorities said Shepherd was driving a pickup truck at around 7:30 a.m. when she struck four children who were crossing a two-lane road to board a Tippecanoe Valley School Corp. bus near Rochester, about 100 miles north of Indianapolis.
Six-year-old twin brothers Xzavier and Mason Ingle, and their 9-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl, were killed. An 11-year-old boy was severely injured in the crash.
Both the surviving minor and the mother of the victims are expected to testify.
Shepherd told authorities she didn't realize that she was approaching a stopped school bus, despite the activated stop arm and flashing lights. Court documents show Shepherd told police she saw the lights but didn't recognize the vehicle as a school bus until the children were right in front of her.
"Court date falls (a) week before anniversary of this tragedy...there’s a rough couple (of) weeks ahead...a lot of emotion," Schwab said.