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Man in critical condition after assault by vehicle

A Little Colley man remained hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday, nearly a week after he was assaulted with a vehicle near Blackey.

Anthony Wayne Collins, 35, is being treated for multiple injuries at Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn., where he was flown by helicopter early June 25.

Collins was injured sometime before 5 a.m. last Wednesday after what apparently began as a fight over a girl ended with Collins being run over by a vehicle and left for dead.

The assault left Collins with a dangerous blood clot on his aorta, bleeding of the brain, several broken bones in his back, numerous breaks in both legs, and blood clots in both legs.

Letcher County Deputy Sheriff Jason Bates is still trying to determine exactly what happened and who was involved in the incident. Bates said he knows that some shots were fired.

“I believe some sort of fight took place and it spiraled down from there,” said Bates.

The incident apparently took place in the community of Woodrock after Collins, his cousin and his cousin’s girlfriend got into an altercation with at least two other men, one or both of whom may have once dated the girl traveling with Collins.

Sources familiar with the incident say trouble began late on the night of June 24 after a telephone argument evolved into the scheduling of a fight at a public car wash at Isom. After the fight didn’t take place as planned, Collins, his cousin, and the girl drove to Vicco in Perry County to check on the girl’s house. While returning to Letcher County via Jent Mountain at Carcassonne, the three apparently were forced to stop at Woodrock when they came upon a vehicle blocking the road, after which the assault on Collins occurred.

After he was found lying in a ditch and badly injured, Collins was driven in the back of the cousin’s pickup truck to the home of his sister at Little Colley, arriving there at about 5 a.m. on June 25.

Collins’s sister, a trained emergency medical technician, quickly recognized the severity of her brother’s injuries and determined that he probably wouldn’t survive without being airlifted to a major trauma center for treatment. She then contacted the Neon Ambulance Service, whose workers met her beside the John B. Adams Store at Isom and stabilized Collins for the flight to Kingsport from the parking lot of the Isom Double Kwik.

“He’s lying over there fighting for his life right now,” Sheriff Danny Webb said Tuesday afternoon.

Deputy Bates and Lieutenant M.K. Terry of the sheriff’s department are collecting evidence from both the crime scene and from the vehicles.

While no arrests have been made, Webb said his office is “about 85 percent sure we’ve figured out” who is responsible for the assault. Webb said the evidence now being gathered will be presented to the Letcher County Grand Jury.

“It’s one of those things we’re trying to piece together,” Webb said.

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