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5 killed, 5 injured when van collides with truck in Arkansas

Five people have died and five others injured following a crash involving an 18-wheeler and a van in Chicot County.

CHICOT COUNTY, Ark. — According to the Arkansas Department of Public Safety, five people have died following a crash involving an 18-wheeler and a van in Chicot County.

The report said an 18-wheeler was traveling southbound on Highway 65 near the state Highway 35 intersection on Monday, June 6. 

Around 2:45 p.m., a 15-passenger van was traveling westbound on state Highway 35 attempting to cross over the Highway 65 southbound lanes but failed to yield to the approaching 18-wheeler.

The front of the 18-wheeler struck the right side of second vehicle, causing both to travel in a south western direction off the west side of the roadway into the west roadside where they came to final rest.

“At this juncture in the investigation, it appears that the driver of the van did not see the oncoming traffic,” Sadler told the Associated Press Tuesday morning.

The van belonged to C.B. King Memorial School, which is a nonprofit that helps people with developmental delays or disabilities in some southeastern Arkansas counties.

The victims who died were identified as:

  • Tommy Figures, 50
  • Brayshawn Ranson, 19
  • Terry King, 56
  • Regina Jackson, 65, of Dermott
  • Geraldine Prewitt, 73, of McGehee 

Five other passengers were also injured in the accident.

For those in the southeast Arkansas region, the news is hard to hear.

"For this to happen Monday was just like, 'no, I don't wanna hear it, somebody must've got something wrong,'" Dollie Wilson, a lifelong resident of McGehee, said. "The reality of it is... it's true."

Wilson and her close friend Rosie Beverly knew one of the victims, Geraldine Prewitt, well. Beverly was a caretaker for Prewitt for years.

"Yeah, she was a 'lil bit,'" Beverly said, referring to the nickname Prewitt was often called. "She talked all the time, she knew everything going on here in McGehee."

While tough to cope with, it's those memories that are getting this tight knit community through this tragedy.

"You still got to get used to it, you try to smile and you try to look beyond this. In our hearts, it's still a sadness," Wilson said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. We will update this article with more information as it becomes available. 

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