Wednesday 26 October 2016

Baby fights for life after crash kills All-Black father


The daughter of former All Blacks rugby star Jerry Collins is fighting for her life following a crash that killed her mother and father.

Collins and Alana Madill died after their car was hit by a bus on a road outside the southern French town of Beziers. Police said Ms Madill was driving while 34-year-old Collins was in the back seat.

Traffic officers in Beziers said their baby daughter Ayla was gravely injured in the crash about half an hour from Narbonne, where Collins had been playing for the town's second division club.

Ayla was airlifted to a hospital in Montpellier in what French police called a "very serious" condition. No one in the bus, which was carrying 21 people, was harmed.

According to initial findings by police, Ms Madill lost control of the car at around 3am and hit security barriers before stopping in the slow lane of the road.

The bus travelling behind could not avoid the car.

Ireland star Brian O'Driscoll tweeted: "Terrible news about Jerry Collins & his wife in France. Thoughts are with his family."

The IRFU tweeted: "Shocked & saddened to hear about tragic death of @AllBlacks Jerry Collins & his wife. Our sincere condolences."

Collins, who stood an imposing 6ft 3in and weighed more than 16st at his optimum playing weight, played at blindside flanker and became internationally famous for the ferocity of his tackling.

He played 48 tests for his country and captained them briefly. After his international retirement, Collins went on to play for clubs in Britain, Japan and France.

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