Good Samaritan killed on I-30 by accused drunk driver was a 25-year-old veteran and father, family says

“I have no doubt…no doubt that he’s in heaven,” Elizabeth Collins said of her late husband.

DALLAS — A 25-year-old man described by officials as a good Samaritan was killed on the morning of Saturday, Aug. 12, while trying to help victims of another crash, according to law enforcement. 

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office said just before 2:30 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 30, a red tow truck collided with a Chrysler Town & Country minivan, causing it to spin and face oncoming traffic. The tow truck fled the scene.

The good Samaritan, identified as Donald Collins, stopped to help the minivan. While standing next to the wrecked vehicle, a 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe collided with the van and Collins. Collins was taken to a local hospital, where he died. 

The passenger of the minivan was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Collins’ family spoke to reporters Wednesday at a news conference with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office.

His wife, Elizabeth, said Donald was 25 years old, a former Marine, and a father to their 2-year-old daughter, Nola. 

“Don’t get me wrong,” she told reporters. “I am very sad, because I’m going to miss my best friend. But missing him is not going stop what our mission in the world is which is to save souls and he did that.” 

“Did it cost his life?” she asked.

“Yes. But that’s okay because he saved two… and I have no doubt… no doubt that he’s in heaven.” 

Dallas County sheriff’s deputies arrested the driver of the Tahoe, 33-year-old Irma Nelly Martinez-Leal. She was charged with one count of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault with vehicle. 

“I don’t want her to go to hell,” Elizabeth said of Martinez-Leal. “I forgive her, I’m not angry with her, I’m not.” 

The driver of the tow truck is still on the run, but deputies announced Wednesday afternoon they did locate the truck itself thanks to tips from the public. 

Elizabeth made it clear, though, that finding the driver is not her priority. 

“I honestly don’t even care. The biggest thing now is to let people know who my husband was. He was a server, he was a helper,” she said.

“He always had that savior mentality” Donald’s father, also named Donald, said. 

“My first grandchild…” Donald’s grandmother said with tears in her eyes. “You can’t know the joy he gave me…there was so much joy.” 

Before the news conference ended, Elizabeth said she wants people to live like her husband and help others. 

“We don’t want people to be afraid to do God’s work. I’m going to continue to help. If I leave here and I see an accident on the side of the road I’m pulling over. Am I gonna be nervous? Yes, because I’m human. But I’m strong, so help please,” she said.

Lots of people are trying to help the Collins in return with this fundraiser to pay for funeral expenses and child care costs.