Try checking for a fuel pump shutoff switch in the trunk by the rear passenger seat. It might look like a red button that needs to be depressed. Look for a hole in the paneling by the trunk hinge. If you have hit a bump or were involved in a minor accident it might trip so your engine doesn't run in the event of an accident.
To remove the dashboard on an Escort Diesel van, remove the steering column cover. Next locate all of the bolts holding the dashboard on and remove them carefully.
To indicate a problem with the brake system.
Look in the trunk area on the passenger side. It has a little panel to allow access to the fuel cutoff.
behind passenger side kick panel
It is not advised. Connect the dark blue wire to the black wire.
You push the button on the top of it down to reset it.
It might just be the fuse is blown.
doesnt have one
Have you checked the fuse block, for a blown fuse.
The car going down hill symbol on the speedometer. What does it indicate?
Does the car start? because if it doesn't... then your fuel cutoff has been tripped, likely by the car getting hit closer to the gas tank and tripping the cutoff valve. if it's anything like the cutoff in a '91 escort, you should be able to take off the small panel access in the trunk/hatch and reset the switch, if it's the same, it's pretty easy
Just an FYI that it was the timing belt.