(CNN) -- Five children under 17 and their foster father were killed when their van slammed into the back of a stationary tractor-trailer in eastern Colorado
The foster father -- Howard Mitchell, 57 -- was driving the children to school when the van crashed Thursday south of Kit Carson, Colorado, CNN affiliate KMGH reported.
The Dodge with 12 occupants was in a construction zone with reduced speed limits when it rammed into the back of a stationary empty cattle trailer, the Colorado State Patrol said.
Six other children were taken to area hospitals, including a 14-year-old who was the only one wearing a seat belt, authorities said.
The 26-year-old driver of the truck was treated for minor injuries and released, KMGH said.
Mitchell was a Cheyenne County Sheriff's Office deputy, according to the affiliate.
Read more about this story from CNN affiliate KMGH.