Michael Collins was a guy known to help his neighbors and his community.
"He was a good volunteer, always there to lend a hand," said Shelby, Iowa, City Councilman Bob Seitz, who lives across the street from where Collins lived. "And he was always on watch in the neighborhood. He kept an eye on everybody."
Collins, 41, a Shelby volunteer firefighter, died Sunday night after he was struck by a car on Interstate 80. He was directing traffic around an accident near the Shelby exit when a 2001 Honda Accord driven by David L. Thies, 43, of Ames, Iowa, struck the firefighter, said the Iowa State Patrol. The accident occurred about 6:50 p.m.
Collins was pronounced dead at the scene, the State Patrol said.
Scott Miller, the patrol's public information officer, said Collins was directing I-80 eastbound traffic to the right lane. As Thies approached the scene he could not stop his car in time and veered left, hitting Collins, Miller said.
Miller said it appears alcohol was not a factor in the crash. He was unsure if speed was a factor.
Collins was wearing a jacket with reflective stripes on it.
An investigation into Collins' death continues. Miller said he's unsure what, if any, charges Thies would face.
"This is a tragedy," Miller said.
Collins is survived by his longtime companion, Tanya Collins, and two daughters, according to Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home. Tanya Collins declined to comment Monday.
A visitation is planned for Michael Collins at Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home on Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The funeral is planned for Friday at 11 a.m. at Hoy-Kilnoski, with burial at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Omaha. The family will direct memorials.
Said Seitz, the firefighter's neighbor: "It's been a rough day."
Mike Brownlee of the World-Herald News Service contributed to this report.