Saturday June 6th, 2015

Former New Zealand All Blacks rugby player Jerry Collins died Friday in a car accident in France.

His car collided with a bus, killing Collins, 34, and his partner Alana Medill in the early hours of the morning near the southern town of Beziers, on their way to Montpellier. The New Zealand Herald reported that Medill was driving and Collins was in the back seat.

Also in the car was the couple's baby daughter, who was taken to Montpellier hospital in critical condition.

Collins debuted for New Zealand in 2001 and played in 48 matches. He'd been playing for French club Narbonne after a decorated career in New Zealand. Known for his shock of bleach-blonde hair and tenacity when tackling, Collins captained the All Blacks three times and played in two World Cups (2003 and 2007). He retired from international rugby in 2008.

His manager, Tim Castle, said in a statement that Collins' family was "distraught at the death of a much-loved son, brother and friend, and his partner Alana, whom I got to know recently".

Jeremy Woo

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