Trying to find good in something terrible -- that’s what the grandfather of the three children that were killed while crossing the road to get on a school bus near Rochester is hoping to do.
He hopes a website brings about change.
Michael Schwab is the grandfather of Mason, Alivia, and Xzavier. The three siblings were killed while crossing the road to get on a school bus in Fulton County.
He created the website MAX Strong Forever in hopes of getting legislation passed that would make all school bus crossings safer for children across the state.
“The agony my daughter and granddaughter will live with forever,” said Michael Schwab, grandfather. “Not just the act of it happening, but the memories of holding her sons in her arm and finding my granddaughter 80 feet in a ditch and holding her as she took her last breath.”
Schwab hopes new legislation will help keep other people from experiencing their pain and help his family to heal.
“I think that’s really what would give them this extra meaning and something to embrace to try and hold onto to think of a positive,” said Schwab.
Every week, thousands of people ignore school bus stop arms. There are three main laws the family would like to see changed.
The first is that all buses should have stop arm cameras.
The second is that children should not have to cross a highway to get on a school bus.
The third is that penalties for not stopping should be more severe.
“Indiana considers this an infraction, a traffic infraction,” said Schwab. “It’s not much different than you turning right on red, there’s not a lot of consequences.”
Increasing penalties for School Bus Stop Arm Violations is something State Senator Eric Bassler began trying to get passed into law three years ago. He plans to file a law addressing this again and hopes this year, it will finally go through.
“You kind of hate to think that it takes a tragedy to make things happen. But sometimes it does,” said Bassler. “Maybe some good can come of that very difficult bad situation.”
Schwab says there’s not a lot of happiness in the family’s life right now. But that hopefully someone else’s grandchild will be saved because of this terrible situation.
“I’d like everybody to take a look at their child tonight and remember. 550,000 times a year we’re lucky someone doesn’t get hurt or killed,” said Schwab. “Please call your senators, your house of representatives, the governor, do whatever it takes.”
Now Bassler said he would be willing to work with other legislators in naming new school bus safety laws after the three children who were killed.
The children’s parents sent us the following statement:
We are honored for everyone all over the world who took the time to share their love, support and prayers. A parent never expects to bury their child. The heart ache consumes you and not just one child but three children at the same time. Our loss is more then what we can even express in words.
Alivia Faith Stahl was looking forward to turning 10 years old on December 22. Her first double digit birthday she was looking forward to eating tons of rainbow poop emoji cupcakes with family, friends and classmates. Our daughter was such a beautiful soul. So caring and compassionate. Her passion was to help and bring joy to others. She was such a "Mother Hen" especially to her adorable twin brothers Mason Thomas and Xzavier Patrick Ingle.
Mason was such a mommy's boy. His personality was so shy and caring and his hugs could melt anyone’s heart. Mason had a love for life and was an inquisitive child, wanting to learn everything about the world around him.
Xzavier was such a daddy's boy his personality was one of a kind. He brought so much laughter with his comical sense of humor. He was adventurous and loved the outdoors.
All three of their smiles were contagious to everyone around them. We always enjoyed our family time together at home or away from home. Our dining room table will forever hold memories that brought us together every night as a family. Every night we go to sleep without their hugs and kisses. And every morning we wake up to reality and wishing it was just a dream. We miss them so much. Our lives are forever changed.
Not only did our three children die that day but a big part of us died with them. Christmas and Alivia's birthday approaching our lives are filled with so much pain and emptiness.
Alivia Faith Stahl, Mason Thomas Ingle and Xzavier Patrick Ingle we will do everything in our power to keep your memories alive, they will never be forgotten. Thank you to everyone who has been respecting our privacy in this time of grief. God Bless each and every one of you.
In closing, Our hearts and prayers go out to all the families who have also recently lost children or had children injured in tragic accidents involving school buses. We know all too well the pain and suffering you are going through. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers always.
Brittany Stahl & Shane Ingle