The grandfather of three Tippecanoe Valley students killed at a bus stop in October is calling for legislation he hopes will help avoid another tragedy, and is already seeing a groundswell of support.

Six-year-old twins Xzavier and Mason Ingle and their 9-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl, were killed Oct. 30 near Rochester when a driver passed the school bus that had stopped to pick them up. A fourth student was seriously injured.

The incident gained national attention, and Michael Schwab, the grandfather, is intent on seeing state lawmakers take action.

Soon after the crash, Schwab said he took his daughter – the mother of the children – to a Fort Wayne hotel to escape the scene of the crash near their home, and began researching the history of similar bus-related accidents.

He soon came across statistics from surveys that looked at the number of incidents reported by bus drivers of motorists going around buses that are stopped while picking up students.

That led him to information provided by Indiana Department of Education that has tracked the surveys over recent years.

“As I dug deeper and deeper, I was just awestruck at how horrible the stats are,” Schwab said.

The statistics from the state department of education are based on single-day studies from across the state and extrapolated to represent a full year.

The most recent statistics from the survey were compiled from a survey done in April, and recorded 3,082 incidents in which drivers were seen going around buses that were stopped to pick up children. The report says the year-long total would be 554,760 incidents.

He’s been sharing those numbers with people and the reaction has been one of shock for many.

“When they see those numbers, they’re mortified by it. I think they all have an awakening at that moment that at any time it could be their child,”  Schwab said.

Schwab, 59, is using those statistics as the basis to demand change and has established a website,, and a Facebook page by the same name to begin a grassroots lobbying effort.

The first three letters of the website represent the children’s first names. The website provides updates on policy changes and asks people to support  the “MAXStrong” movement.

Those statistics touted by Schwab also caught the eye of State Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport), whose district includes Rochester. The numbers, he said, are startling.

“It’s amazing we don’t have more fatalities,” Head said. “We’ve got to do something to keep more students safe.”

Head and another lawmaker from Indianapolis are both working on possible legislation.

Specifically, Schwab wants to see the state require school districts to install cameras on the stop arms of buses that swing out when bus drivers stop to pick up children.

He also wants to increase the penalty for motorists who violate the law.

It’s his understanding that police are limited because they are reluctant to take action based on the word of the bus driver.

He points to 16 states that require cameras.

A school district in Lebanon has installed cameras on its buses. Schwab said it cost the district about $40,000 and calls that “a small investment for protecting our children.”

According to Schwab’s website, Rochester Community School district has since decided to add stop arm cameras to its buses.

Schwab and Head both think the children’s deaths will help make the issue a high-profile issue during the upcoming legislative session.

“I hope so,” Head said. “I hope to make it one.”

The deaths, Head said, underscore how it can happen to other families.

“I can almost guarantee you it’s going to change no matter what because so many  people are interested in the subject matter and have ideas on it,” Head said.

There are other ideas being discussed that might end up receiving consideration when the Indiana General Assembly convenes a week from Monday.

Among the other ideas: require school districts to reorganize bus routes so that students don’t have to cross highways to board buses.  Schwab said he’s told that districts in Walkerton and Pulaski County have already change routes to accomodate that preference.

The tragedy has also revived interest among some in shifting all of Indiana to the Central Time Zone to ensure the morning school pickups occur after sunrise.

Schwab said he’s open to that idea.

Schwab, who lives in Florida, said he hopes to see supporters organize town hall meetings to discuss the need for changes to further protect students.

There are also plans by Schwab to establish a foundation to promote the issues and help cover the cost for schools to install cameras.

In less than two weeks, the MAXStrongForever website has attracted about 5,000 supporters – and that’s happened before a strong marketing effort begins, he said.

That kind of attention, he said, is giving the family more confidence that something concrete will be done.

“In the long run, if it helps something meaningful come out of it, there will be a little bit of peace for my family,” he said.