MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – A community and family are remembering a Lowcountry musician, 35-year-old Nick Collins lll, who touched many people with his passion for music. Collins, known for musical performances around the Charleston area, passed away in his sleep Monday morning from pneumonia.
Collins wasn’t supposed to survive a car crash back in 2012 after being thrown from a vehicle and then run over, but he survived. His dad said Nick will be remembered as someone who would put others first and always felt like he was your best friend.
“He just had a message of, you know, life is short – live it to the fullest,” said Collins’ father, Nick Collins Sr. “But make sure you love.”
Collins led a life of resiliency starting nine years ago after the car crash on I-526 in Mount Pleasant. Collins was thrown from a car – landing in the express lane before being run over by a truck. He would then spend 90 days in a coma while receiving medical treatment.
“They performed 41 surgical procedures – 814 units of blood – and they ended up having to save his life by amputating his right leg all the way up to his hip,” said Collins Sr.
Collins Sr. said doctors gave his son a 1% percent chance to survive injuries from the accident and return to living a normal life. Despite the odds, he survived.
“Music was the only thing that saved his life,” said Collins Sr. “He was doing what he loved.”
Collins performed solo and as part of Fowlers Mustache – a band named for Storm Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Rob Fowler’s iconic mustache.
Recently, Collins’ health took a turn for the worse. He had been experiencing pain from a torn rotator cuff along with pain and in his leg, masking a larger health problem.
“He fell asleep and the pneumonia took over,” explained Collins Sr. “He had an enlarged heart, he had heavy lungs and passed away.”
Collins died in his sleep in the early Monday morning. His family and community are remembering him for his love of music that brought joy to so many across the Lowcountry.
“He was such a true spirit,” said Collins Sr. “You know, he knew that he was saved and he knew that he was here for a reason. He taught me so many things about being resilient.”
Collins’ dad hopes others will remember his son as someone who loved putting a smile on people’s faces through the music he performed across the Lowcountry.
“He’s just going to be very well missed and we’re very blessed to have had him in our lives as long as we did,” says Collins Sr. “All the love you need in life is free – that was one of his favorite lines and that pretty much signed up and capitalized his life. It was if you love, that’s all you need.”
Funeral arrangements for Collins have yet to be set. If and when his family shares those details we’ll be sure to pass them along both on-air and online.