Collins indictment brings little closure for Bryan Co. deputies - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Indictment brings little closure for Bryan Co. deputies


Bryan County Sgt. Seth Strickland doesn't try to hide his emotions when he remembers the horrific accident that took the life of his coworker Sgt. Bobby Crapse.

"He activated his emergency lights on top of his car. And then, a few seconds later, he collided with something," Strickland told WTOC while tearing up. "I couldn't believe what I saw. I brought my car to a stop as soon as I could and rushed to give him aid."

Strickland was driving behind Crapse that fateful summer morning. In the early hours of June 15, Georgia State Troopers say Patricia Collins plowed into Crapse's patrol car. The images of the head on collision are never far from Strickland's mind.

"Still thinking about that gets me a little emotional. It's hard to relive those moments," he said. "No one else was there. What I saw, his last few moments, I was certain I could save him."

A few minutes later, Bryan County Lt. David Blige also arrived on scene. He helped Strickland get Crapse out of the patrol car.

"It was real bad," Blige said. "I've never seen anything like that before."

But sadly, there was nothing they could do to save their co-worker and friend. Crapse, a traffic enforcement deputy, died at the crash site on I-95.

"He was just trying to keep the roads safe for everyone else. Stopping drunks," said Strickland. "It's a tragedy that something he really devoted himself to is what took him."

Now, the woman Georgia State Troopers say killed Crapse may face time in prison. Patricia Collins, 24, is now facing two counts of first degree vehicular homicide, DUI less safe, and DUI unlawful alcohol concentration. The Georgia State Patrol says Collins was drunk while speeding the wrong way down I-95. She slammed into Crapse's patrol car, killing him almost instantly.

The indictment brings some peace for Bryan County Sheriff Clyde Smith and fellow deputies.

"I'm glad to see it moving on through the courts," Smith said. "It gives the department and the family of Bobby Crapse some closure."

"It still won't bring him back, but it's a relief to the department and the family," Blige told WTOC.

"It kind of brings a closure to some of it now that you know something is going to happen," said Bryan County Cpl. Daryl Burns.

But until they see some type of justice, the Bryan County Deputies will honor Crapse the best way they can.

"Just keep coming to work, keep doing what I do," Strickland said. "Bobby loved doing his job. So now, I'll do it for him."

Strickland says he plans on being in the courtroom when Collins finally goes to trial. No word yet on when that will happen.

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