The crash happened Monday afternoon on U.S. 65 when the 15-passenger van failed to yield when crossing U.S. 65 in rural Chicot County and collided with a truck that was hauling cooking oil, Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said Tuesday.
Sadler said the van belonged to C.B. King Memorial School, a nonprofit that provides services in several southeastern Arkansas counties to people with developmental delays or disabilities, according to its website.
“Our C B King Family is hurting tonight,” the school’s director of programs, Lora Medina, said in a statement Monday. “We don’t have the words right now to express our pain. The Adult Center in Arkansas City will be closed for now as we process what has happened.”
The five people killed in the crash ranged in age from 19 to 73, state police said. The drivers of both vehicles were injured, along with three other passengers in the van, state police said.
State police will assign a reconstruction team to try to determine what led to the collision, Sadler said.
“At this juncture in the investigation, it appears that the driver of the van did not see the oncoming traffic,” Sadler said Tuesday morning.
The crash occurred south of Dermott, which is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Little Rock in the Mississippi River Delta region.