|Death: ||Sep. 6, 2005|
St. Louis County
The first Chesterfield police officer to die during the police department's 17-year history was remembered over the weekend.
A funeral service was held Sept. 10 at the Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church, 9450 Clayton Road, for Chesterfield Police Reserve Commander James L. "Jim" Collins, 54, who died following a car accident while off-duty Sept. 6 on Olive Boulevard near the Hilltown Village Plaza shopping center.
Two other Chesterfield off-duty officers sustained minor injuries in the accident.
Police Chief Ray Johnson described Collins as "a totally dedicated individual, contributing every bit of time he could free up for us, which was considerable."Advertisement
"It's harder to accept because this was so senseless," Johnson said.
"(The loss) has had a traumatic effect on our agency. Jim was really nice, very personable and fit in here extremely well," he said. "Everyone liked him. Some agencies resent reserve officers, not feeling they're part of the team. But Jim participated in all the training and requirements and was very accepted by our rank and file. He certainly will be missed. It's a terrible loss."
Police Sgt. Steve Lewis said Collins -- a Chesterfield resident who previously lived many years in Frontenac -- was a 34-year veteran of law enforcement, having served nine years as a full-time police officer for the St. Louis County Police Department.
"He additionally served eight years as a St. Louis County reserve officer and 17 years as a Chesterfield reserve officer," Lewis said. "Most recently, he was the commander of the Chesterfield Reserve Unit."
Lewis said Collins was the rear passenger in a vehicle traveling west on Olive in front of Hilltown Village Plaza when the accident occurred.
"Another vehicle was leaving the parking lot of Hilltown and broad-sided the vehicle Jim was in," Lewis said.
"This collision resulted in the door of the SUV that Jim was in to be torn from its hinges and the SUV to roll over," he said. "This action caused Jim to be ejected."
Lewis said Collins was airlifted from the scene to St. John's Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur but was pronounced dead a short time later.
The other two officers were treated at the hospital and released, he said.
"Our investigation is continuing," Lewis said.
Collins is survived by a wife, adult daughter and step-daughter.
Internment immediately followed the funeral service and took place at Oak Grove Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Backstoppers, P.O. Box 66927, St. Louis, 63166.
Oak Grove Cemetery
St. Louis County
Created by: Tammy Jones-Ashley
Record added: Nov 16, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12386364