Coroner Danny Finley stated Collins was playing outside with her friend, a 12 -year-old girl, when she stepped onto Hal Rogers Parkway.
Details of the Fatal Pedestrian Accident
“I covered her up and just comforted and talked to her. By that point I realized that the baby was almost gone. It’s been horrible. I can’t shut my eyes without thinking about that baby.” – Rita Wooteon as published by WYMT-TV Mountain News
After school, Collins and the 12-year-old girl were playing outside when Collins was struck around 6:50pm. Collins’ mother was not aware the two girls had left the yard.
Investigators stated Collins was struck by an 18-wheeler around 6:50 pm. Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson says she died at about 8:00pm at a local hospital.
Coroner Finley determined the cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma. Investigators did not state whether or not the girls were walking with or against the flow of traffic.
Investigators followed standard procedures, and tested the driver for drugs and alcohol; however, it could be weeks before the results from the samples will be known. The truck driver has not been charged, and the police stated he was cooperative.
The truck driver’s name was not released.
Pace’s Creek Elementary School Copes with the Loss & Local Police Raise Funeral Funds
At Pace’s Creek Elementary School, Collins’ school of 350 students, students and staff are struggling with their recent loss.
The school has offered the students several grief counselors, and a pastor to help students understand the reason why Collins would not be returning to school.
NBC reports that local police officers are raising money so that Collins’ family will not have to pay for the costs of her funeral.
Manchester Police Officer Jimmy Smith, the first on the scene, and his fellow officers have raised $3,000, and plan on raising enough to cover the entire cost of the funeral.
In 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States. 70,000 pedestrians were injured.
There is one crash-related pedestrian death every 2 hours, and a pedestrian injury every 8 minutes.
Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip.
Those most at risk are older adults, child, and those impaired by alcohol. Older adults account for 19% of all pedestrian deaths, and 11% of all pedestrian injuries in 2010. Nearly 1 in every 5 children between the ages of 5 and 9 killed in traffic crashes was a pedestrian.
In traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian deaths, 47% involved alcohol impairment in either the driver or the pedestrian.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
Pedestrians should increase their visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking, and by wearing retro-reflective clothing.
Pedestrians should cross the street at a designated crosswalk.
It is much safer to walk on a sidewalk, but if pedestrians must walk in the street they should walk facing traffic.