by Max Brantley
Fox 16 is reporting four dead in a wreck involving a "special needs van" on Highway 63 between Jonesboro and Bay. KAIT updates, says a car driving the wrong way collided with the small bus carrying special needs adults. Drivers of both vehicles reportedly among those killed.
State Police update (there are now two; the death toll has risen to five):
Arkansas State Troopers and Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are continuing to investigate a two-vehicle crash that occurred shortly after 2:15 PM today along U.S. Highway 63 southbound near the intersection with Nestle’ Road.
As of 4:45 PM Troopers confirm there are four fatality victims. Two seriously injured victims have been airlifted from the crash scene and are being treated at Memphis hospitals. Other injured have been transported by ground ambulance to Jonesboro hospitals. At this time the investigating Trooper in charge of the crash scene does not have an accurate count of the injured. Additional information with regard to the number of injured will be provided once State Police personnel have interviewed victims at area hospitals.
The crash occurred when a passenger vehicle traveling southbound on U.S. 63 along the northbound lanes of traffic collided with a multi-passenger van carrying clients of Focus, Incorporated which provides day treatment services for developmentally disabled adults.
Three of the fatality victims were onboard the van and the fourth was the single occupant/driver of the passenger vehicle. The ASP has been assisted at the scene by Jonesboro and Bay Fire Department personnel in extricating the injured. Jonesboro Police have also been dispatched to the crash scene to assist State Troopers.
Additional information with regard to identities of the fatality victims will be released once all next of kin have been notified.
STATE POLICE UPDATE
Arkansas State Police have identified the fatality victims involved in the highway crash in Jonesboro
1.) Heath T. Bakken, 28, of 3516 Beacon Street, Jonesboro has been identified as the driver of the passenger vehicle traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of U.S. 63 highway. Bakken’s vehicle collided with a multi-passenger van operated by Focus, Incorporated.
2.) Angela F. Austin, 26, of 824 North Ozark, Trumann has been identified as the driver of the van who was killed in the crash.
3.) Anthony Vaughn, 25, of 1706 Warner, Jonesboro, (van passenger).
4.) Michael E. Lane, 34, 2004 North Patrick, Jonesboro (van passenger).
5.) Gerald Brown, 56, 3909 Hill Drive, Jonesboro, (van passenger).
Jonathan Vaughn, 29, 1706 Warner, Jonesboro (van passenger)
Regina James, 34, 208 N. Rogers, Jonesboro (van passenger)
Steve Farmer, 41, 1431 E. Johnson, Jonesboro (van passenger)
Keenan Wilson, 36, 3016 N. Church, Jonesboro (van passenger)
Brian Parnell, 32, 150 CR 769, Jonesboro (van passenger)