Headlines flashing "Jerry Collins Dies" are now replaced with concerns about his orphaned daughter's condition after doctors described it as "uncertain" and "precarious" following the car crash in which her father, famous New Zealand rugby player Jerry Collins, and her mother, Alana Madill, died.
The couple was coming back from a rugby party near the Spanish border at Canet-en-Roussillon, when they unexpectedly swerved and crashed at 4:30 a.m. on June 5, and both parents died at the scene."The car, in which [Jerry was] travelling, had swerved unexpectedly before coming to a halt and was struck from behind by the bus", Beziers public prosecutor Yvon Calvet confirmed, according to the Daily Mail. Eyewitnesses described the little girl as crying after her parents died in the wrecked vehicle.
The Collins family is "devastated to be so far away from their grandchild," but thanks everyone for their support, reports Wales Online. Jerry's agent, Tim Castle, has kept the world updated about Ayla's condition, and there's concerns she won't pull through.
"It's fair to say without wanting to be dramatic, in fact quite the contrary, that it is precarious. [Ayla Collins's condition is] very serious. To the extent that there's no change is an update of a sort."Jerry's parents are "desperately sad. You cope with it because the clock ticks on and night follows day. They feel very distant from their boy with him so far away. It makes it more difficult and adds extra stress. They are just humbled by the wonderful messages of support they have received. They are deeply grateful and it helps at a time like this."
"I have been in touch with Jerry's father Frank and other members of his family who are in Samoa at the moment. It's obviously a terribly difficult time for them and together with New Zealand rugby we are doing all we can to support them. I have also been in touch with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who are also doing everything they can to ensure that baby Ayla is getting all the care and support she needs."An online fund was set up to help offset some of Ayla Collins's expenses after her parents died, and it already surpassed the $25,000 target thanks to generous donations.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Jerry Collins was a gregarious man, and other athletes and fans are devastated to learn he died. In a 2007 interview, Jerry stated how he identified with his fans, who he felt were like him. The Collins funeral will be held in Porirua, his hometown, and the family is working to repatriate Jerry's body back to New Zealand.
[Image credit: David Rogers / Getty Images]