CLAIBORNE COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — A Claiborne County family is grieving the sudden loss of their son, a former volunteer firefighter who died in a rollover crash on Friday.
“We are devastated,” said Amanda Bennett, Shane Collins’s mother.
Collins was on his way to meet his wife with their three children. When he failed to show up, Bennett went to find him only to pull up on a crash.
“I was going to go out in the direction that I knew he would’ve went and rolled up on the wreck,” Bennett said. “Some random guy that I don’t even know walked up on me and told me there had been a wreck. I asked him what type of vehicle and he told me and I just lost it.”
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Collins was headed northbound in a 1999 Chevy Tahoe on Wheeler Road in Harrogate when the set of right tires went into the ditch causing him to overcorrect in the southbound lane. Collins then overcorrected again causing the Tahoe to end up in the ditch where it rolled over on the driver’s side.
Bennett describes her son as selfless.
“Fun-loving, outgoing, cared about everybody, really didn’t have a harsh word toward anybody,” Bennett said. “Completely loved his family, his friends, dedicated to the fire department.”
Collins was a former firefighter for several Fire Departments in Claiborne County.
“He moved to Harrogate Fire Department and then to TNT,” Bennett said. “He was actually wanting to go back to TNT.”
Bennett said the day before Collins died he was accepted into Walters State Community College’s EMT program.
Bennett said he was an older brother and the protector of the family.
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“He was the rock that held everybody together. When things were hard he was the first person I wanted to call,” said Bennett.
Now that Collins is gone, the family is trying to be strong for his children.
“We try to pick up the pieces trying to hold it together for his kids,” Bennett said. “We have to hold ourselves together to be there for them.”
Editor’s Note: This web story has been updated with the correct spelling of a last name. WATE regrets the error.