Neighbor tried to save teenager shot and killed in crash in Springfield

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 4:35 PM CDT
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After a car came racing down East Pacific on Thursday night in Springfield, neighbors quickly gathered outside to see the wreck.

Neighbors told KY3 many people gathered outside and stood around in shock. Others began calling 911, but one tried to save the driver's life.

Whitney Collins was inside when the wreck happened, her daughter brought her attention to the wreck.

"It was all instant," Collins said. " It was like a bam and then my daughter screaming 'Mom.' So I just ran out the door. And when I noticed it wasn't her,I completely noticed the site she was pointing at was a car."

Collins is a nurse, and she said it was her instinct to run out and help.

"I jumped in the car," she said. "I took off his seatbelt, leaned him back. I told him he was going to be okay. I started doing compressions on him. I just kept telling him it's going to be okay. It's going to be okay. It's going to be okay."

Police identified the driver as 18-year-old Darrell Gott, Jr. He was shot before wrecking into the parked van.

Another neighbor, who did not want to share her identity, said she watched the wreck happen from her porch. She saw Collins immediately run to help.

"I think she is amazing," the woman said. "She was inside doing chest compressions. And there were probably three or four other neighbors, you know, in shock standing around her. But she was just trying to make sure we did not lose him."

Collins stayed by Gott's side the whole time, even after police arrived.

"I could not leave him, he reminded me of my little brother," she said.

The neighbor described Collin's actions as "heroic."

"I'm really glad I have a neighbor like her," she said.

Collins said she was hit by an overwhelming amount of emotion after the scene was cleared.

"I just prayed and prayed and prayed that he was going to be okay," Collins said. "I prayed that I did enough. I prayed that his family is going to be okay. I prayed that he knew someone was there with him. That he was not by himself, and that I tried everything that I could."

Police have not yet made any arrests and have not identified a suspect. They are asking anyone with information to call.