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Driver Who Struck and Killed Iowa Firefighter Sues City

A driver who struck and killed an Iowa firefighter in 2011 is now filing suit claiming that the firefighter, who had drugs in his system at the time of his death, caused the accident.

Firefighter Michael Collins, 41, of the Shelby Fire Department, was killed on September 18, 2011 when he was struck while directing traffic at the scene of a vehicle accident on I-80.

The driver of the vehicle that struck Collins, David L. Thies, reportedly swerved around stopped vehicles before striking Collins. According to news reports at the time, Shelby Mayor Lisa Juhl was quoted as saying "With all the sirens and lights it wasn't like there was just a vehicle out there, there were lots of vehicles out there."

Thies was not cited for the accident, although he was charged with driving without a proper registration. He had previously served time for vehicular homicide for an alcohol related crash in 1988.

Collins’ autopsy revealed the presence of two drugs, THC and oxymorphone. Thies claims that Collins stepped in front of his vehicle leaving him with no chance to avoid hitting him.

According to Pottawattamie County District Court records, the suit was filed on September 18, 2013. More on the story.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • http://www.everydayemstips.com/ Greg Friese

    This is fairly interesting, especially in the context of conversations about paramedic or firefighter use alcohol and marijuana (now legal in some states) before responding to a call-out or reporting for duty. Also reasonable people can likely debate the degree to which the presence of drugs (or alcohol) in the body equals impairment. 

    • benny

      regardless look at the driver,s history and reports he swerved around other vehicles yea maybe the firefighter had it in his system but who is to say it was not  from the evening before the driver was at fualt cause he failed to yield to emergency vehicles and if a judge finds in favor of him he is as crooked as a old country road 

  • john

    The driver passed other stopped vehicles. Had he stopped like the others it wouldn’t have matter ed what the FF did.

    However the FF certainly shoudlldnt have had those substances in his system.