DNA used to ID April crash victim - Republic-Times | News

DNA used to ID April crash victim

By on June 8, 2018 at 2:37 pm

DNA was required to positively identify a young Red Bud man as the victim of a fatal vehicle crash that occurred more than a month ago in rural southern Monroe County.

On Friday, Monroe County Coroner Bob Hill released the name of the crash victim as 22-year-old Christian J. Collins.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Red Bud Fire Department and Monroe County EMS responded shortly before 5:30 a.m. April 29 to a vehicle on fire off the roadway on Powell Road just south of LL Road. The vehicle was later determined to have crashed.

According to a news release issued by Hill, Collins was driving a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta southbound on Powell Road when the vehicle left the roadway for unknown reasons. The vehicle struck a bridge deck before coming to rest and catching on fire, the news release states.

Collins died from blunt force trauma, Hill said.

The coroner was able to use a portion of the car’s visor that was ejected from the vehicle before it caught fire and burned. Hill said he was also able to obtain Collins’ toothbrush from his residence and collect buccal samples from Collins’ parents.

“In my 20 years of law enforcement, funeral service and being a part of the coroner’s office, this is the first instance that I have had to rely on DNA to identify a decedent,” Hill said. “I pray this unfortunate instance is an isolated event for Monroe County.”

Funeral arrangements for Collins are pending at Welge-Pechacek Funeral Home in Red Bud.

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