If the crank angle sensor was indeed bad, your van would not start.
The crank position sensor(crank angle sensor) is the sensor that relays information to the computer of engine speed. If the sensor were to fail the computer would not know that the engine was running and would then shut down the ignition system as well as the fuel system.
Now, There is a possibility that the sensor could have a glitch. If that were the case, the computer would in most cases turn the check engine light on and a diagnostic trouble code would be stored in memory.
As far as the panel lights go. There are multiple possible causes. The dash could be at fault. The headlight switch could be failing or the body control computer could be the source.
Most common is a headlight switch thats going bad. What you may want to do is the next time that they go out, turn the rheostat to attempt to adjust the brightness of the dash. If they come back to life you know the headlight switch is no good..
Please let me know if I can assist any further...
Thank you-I will try the rheostat and see if the panel lights come back on.
I appreciate all your help.
Have a great day....