Sentence handed down for Buchanan-area crash that claimed four lives

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - Monday in court, Dub Collins was called a “menace to society” whose drunk driving accidents date back to the 1980s.

Collins was being sentenced for an accident he caused last August that killed four people near Buchanan.

Monday's sentencing hearing provided relatives of the victims a chance to speak directly to Collins.

“I can’t help but point out to you that they poured out their lives for people like you,” Tessa Simon told the court.

The August crash near Buchanan claimed the lives of Simon’s father and mother, Robert and Melissa Klint, of Sawyer, Tessa’s little sister, Landyn, and her 52-year-old uncle Kent Williamson, of Ruckersville, Virginia.

All were on their way to see the "Lion King" movie when the crash occurred at about noon on Aug. 2.

“Everything strikes like it was yesterday. Time has not passed for us in the sense that this is a very current struggle. This is a very current grief, and it's a grief that we have been sentenced to for life,” Tessa told 16 News Now after the hearing.

A life sentence was an option for the 54-year-old Collins, who apparently had a bottle of Fireball Whiskey in his car that he was drinking “like water” on the day of the crash.

Collins apparently hasn’t had a valid driver’s license since 2003 and was said to be traveling close to 87 miles an hour when he ignored a stop sign at the intersection of Miller Road and Main Street in Buchanan Township, where the collision occurred.

Collins was apparently trying to scare his wife, who told him earlier that she wanted a divorce.

“I got over $200,000 worth of medical bills due to the accident,” Heather Collins told 16 News Now. “And I'm just really sorry by his actions trying to harm me, that he took four innocent lives.”

Collins was told "human courts" could only go so far in providing the justice he deserved and that he should concentrate on the type of after-life sentence he would receive.

In court, Collins offered the following apology: “I have stayed awake countless nights praying for forgiveness and for the victims and family. I would like to say I'm truly sorry for their loss. I never intended for anyone to get hurt.”

Collins received a prison term between 47 and 90 years.