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.
The information below is provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC):
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.