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BLOOMINGTON — Michael Collins, an Illinois State University student and son of the University High School baseball coach, died Wednesday night of injuries suffered early Saturday in a two-car crash in Bloomington.

Collins was pronounced dead at 9:05 p.m. at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, said McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling.

"Michael's family is following his wish to help others, and they are working with Gift of Hope to pursue organ and tissue donation," she said in a news release.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday after the donation process is complete, said Kimmerling, adding more information would be released at that time.

In a message to the campus community posted on ISU's website, President Larry Dietz said, "Our deepest sympathies go out to the Collins family," adding that Collins is "remembered as a bright and witty friend by those who knew him."

He added that Collins' wish to be an organ donor "serves as a reminder that even in the midst of grief, life continues. We can all take a lesson from his selflessness and learn more about organ donation."

"Grief affects us all in different ways and at different times," Dietz said. "The important thing to remember is that we are not alone in our grief."

He noted that counseling services are available through our Student Counseling Services office at 438-3655.

His statement ends, " It is in sad times like these that we come together as a Redbird family."

Collins suffered severe head injuries in a two-car accident about 1:50 a.m. Saturday at Empire and Main streets. He and three other occupants of one car were injured, and the driver of the other faces a felony drunk-driving charge.

Collins was a senior exercise science major at ISU and 2010 graduate of Normal Community West High School. He played baseball for two seasons at Heartland Community College, and currently was an assistant baseball coach at U High under his father, Jim.

A post on the U High Facebook page said: "It is with profound sadness and deep pride that the U-High community recognizes the unselfish life and passing of assistant baseball coach and friend Michael Collins. ... "We express our gratitude for Michael's positive influence on the members of the team and on the U-High community. He will be missed."


Public Safety Reporter

Public safety reporter for The Pantagraph.