By TEMILADE ENIOLA
Tragedy hit New Zealand Rugby Union, Friday when former All Black, Jerry Collins and his partner died on the spot in a tragic car crash in France.
Their three-month-old baby, Ayla, was in a critical condition after being airlifted to a hospital in Montpellier.
The road accident occurred at 4.30am local time on Friday on the A9 in the French region of Herault.
A French police spokesperson said Collins’ car had slowed down on the highway and shifted to the left lane before it hit security railings and turned sideways and was hit by a tourist bus. There are also suggestions the driver of the car fell asleep at the wheel.
Jerry Collins car collided with a bus at around 4.30am.
Local paper Midi Libre said the bus driver freed Collins’ daughter from the wreckage by time the emergency services arrived.
Collins’ agent, Tim Castle, has been appointed as the family spokesperson.
“It is a tragedy. Both Jerry and has partner have been killed. Their three-month-old baby is very badly injured,” Castle said. “It is devastating news for his family and everybody. He was in the best space.
“The family and I are distraught at the death of a much-loved son, brother and friend, and his partner Alana, whom I got to know recently.
“I have been in touch with Jerry’s father Frank and other members of his family who are in Samoa at the moment. It’s obviously a terribly difficult time for them and together with New Zealand Rugby we are doing all we can to support them.
“I have also been in touch with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who are also doing everything they can to ensure that baby Ayla is getting all the care and support she needs. I am very grateful for their support.
“The family would also like to thank everyone for their messages of support and have asked for privacy at this time.”