In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidance set by the Office of Management and Budget, the National Transportation Safety Board announced the cancellation of the April 7 board meeting for the investigation of the fatal Oct. 30, 2018, Rochester, Indiana, crash involving four students who were crossing a high-speed road to board a school bus.
In lieu of the previously scheduled meeting, the board members of the NTSB will use an electronic process as detailed in existing agency policy to vote on the staff’s investigative report, which contain the probable cause, findings, and safety recommendations.
“NTSB puts safety first, and we believe that, during this stage of the pandemic, this approach to social distancing protects our staff and the public,” said NTSB Managing Director Sharon Bryson.
“Handling the investigation through this vote process is one of several ways the NTSB conducts business while maintaining its commitment to transparency in a digital process.”
A jury convicted Shepherd Oct. 18 of three counts of reckless homicide, criminal recklessness and passing a school bus, causing injury. The judge sentenced her to four years in prison, three years of house arrest and three years of probation, and suspended her driver’s license for 10 years.
The children were struck while they crossed two-lane State Road 25 in Rochester to board the bus. A fourth child, Maverik Lowe, 11, suffered critical injuries and has had more than 20 surgeries.
An abstract of the final report, which will include the report’s probable cause, findings, and safety recommendations, will be available on the NTSB website when the report is approved by the Board.