DERMOTT, Ark. — A candlelight vigil in Southeast Arkansas Sunday evening honored the lives of five people killed in a horrific crash.
Monday, an adult center bus crashed into an 18-wheeler at the intersection of U.S. Highway 65 and Arkansas Highway 35. Arkansas State Police officials believe the bus failed to yield for oncoming traffic, sending both vehicles off the road and into a ditch.
Five of the bus’s passengers were killed ranging in age from 19 to 73, and another five were injured.
Under the warm sun Sunday, not everyone had water or a fan, but they all had a person they miss dearly. 73-year-old Geraldine Prewitt, 65-year-old Regina Jackson, 56-year-old Terry King, 50-year-old Tommy Figures, and 19-year-old Brayshawn Ransom all lost their lives in the C.B. King bus crash Monday.
Jacquelyn Johnson is Brayshawn’s mother. She told our station he was the “nicest person you ever want to see.”
Brayshawn Ransom was studying to become a trucker after graduating from Dermott High in 2022 as a star on the basketball team.
When asked about the vigil put together by the Demott Fire Department, Johnson said, “It means everything to our family because Brayshawn was loved.”
C.B. King is a center focused on adults with developmental delays. The service coordinator at the center, Felicia Harris, said they took the whole week off to heal following the crash.
“We really need the prayers with our students that really don’t understand what’s going on or are disheartened,” Harris stated.
The C.B. King family will return for the first time since the crash Monday with eight fewer students because in addition to the five who died, three are still recovering in the hospital.
Harris said, “There’s going to be an emptiness not seeing them there because they were there every day.”
A memorial board will be placed in the C.B. King center in their memory Harris added. Other staff, family, preachers, and firefighters took the podium to encourage families and reassure them.
“One day at a time, we’ll get through it,” assured Chacondy Thomas who works in the C.B. King cafeteria.
Dermott Fire Chief Damond Coffey responded to the deadly crash scene and said on the verge of tears, “We are here y’all 100%. Whatever y’all need or whatever you got to do just call us.”
It’s a comfort for families to know while God has their loved ones, others on this side of Heaven can give them comfort too.
Johnson said, “I just want to thank everybody that came out. Everybody who loved my son and knew my son, I thank them all.”
Donations were taken and can be sent to the Dermott Fire Department to assist families.
Harris said it will help the families with loved ones in the hospital. She mentioned some may still have months of recovery ahead of them.