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      Former councilman's son in coma after I-526 accident

      By Nikki Gaskinsngaskins@abcnews4.com

      MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV)Just a few days after an 18-wheeler struck his son, a former Mount Pleasant councilman is hoping that the driver of the semi comes forward.

      "If he could just come forward and explain his story that would help us tremendously to deal with this tragedy," said Nick Collins Sr. "That's the thing that is the hardest on us is first, why it has happened and second how it happened."

      On August 3rd, Nick, 26, and two friends were involved in an accident after the SUV they were all in bounced off two retaining walls along I-526. According to Nick Sr., the three were headed to Daniel Island from North Charleston.

      "The driver of the car just basically lost control, swerved back across the lane and as he swerved one way, my son was ejected," he said.

      Nick Collin's Jr. landed face down on the interstate, as a friend in the passenger seat then tried to quickly remove him from on-coming traffic.

      "If he wasn't there, my son would have died, but he got him far enough to where the tractor trailer ran right over his pelvis and legs," he said.

      His son was taken to MUSC where he remains in a medically induced coma. Nick Sr. says the driver of the SUV received a few head injuries from the impact of the air bag, while his son's friend who rode in the front passenger seat walked away uninjured.

      "He's (Nick Jr.) still fighting for his life. He's still on a respirator. He's still on a lung machine. His heart is still being helped to be pumped," he said.

      A local musician and a Clemson grad, Nick Senior says he is hopeful that his son will overcome his injuries with time and faith.

      "First of all, it's a God-working, miracle that he's alive, and second of all he's going to be able to actually live a semi-normal life as he progresses through his healing," his father said.

      If you have any information on the driver of the 18-wheeler, you're asked to call Charleston Police. Anyone with information can contact Officer Matt Wojslawowicz at (843) 965-4084.

      For more information on Nick's progress, please visit: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/nickcollins/journal

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