Johnson County Sheriff says deputy killed in crash was one of his best

JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. – The Johnson County Sheriff said the deputy killed early Sunday morning was one of his best.

Master Deputy Brandon Collins, 44, was killed early Sunday morning off U.S. 69 Highway near West 143rd Street.

Overland park police investigated the crash. They said Deputy Collins had pulled over a driver and while he was working on that stop, another driver in a 2005 Ford F-250 crashed into the back of the deputy’s car. Collins died there at the scene.

Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning was at church Sunday morning remembering the victims who died on 9/11. He never thought he’d have to add one of his own to the list of first responders remembered on this day.

Johnson County Captain Mike Pfannenstiel had long planned to remember fallen first responders who died on 9/11 by running in the Patriot Run 5K and Marathon in Olathe. His 9/11 plans became personal when he learned about this morning’s crash.

“I worked with Brandon probably four or five years. We were on patrol together. I have great memories with him. I do feel very, very bad for his family right now his daughters,” Capt. Pfannenstiel said.

He had no idea that with every step Sunday he’d be running and remembering one of his colleagues.

Pfannenstiel continued, “I was thinking about that all morning at home. I got notified this morning. It's very hard for us right now.”

Sheriff Denning was at a church service Sunday morning at the College Church of Nazarene. The congregation was honoring first responders to mark 15 the years since 9/11.

Sheriff Denning said, “It had extra meaning for us today because we lost a deputy early this morning as a result of a traffic stop.”

There aren’t many details ready for public release yet, but Sheriff Denning said, “There was obviously an accident that resulted from a third vehicle coming into that traffic stop, which was what we believe to be the striking vehicle and then there was the patrol car and the truck engulfed in flames.”

Sheriff Denning told FOX 4 Deputy Collins was a husband, a father of two young girls, and “a very good law enforcement officer.”

“It's a very tragic loss on all of those levels and you just wish that you could reach out to all of those people who are really affected by this and really make things better and I can't make things better right now. I think the entire agency today is reeling from what has happened this morning, especially on a day like today when obviously we always look back in the past," Denning said.

His colleagues said they’re grateful for the 21 years they did have with Deputy Collins.

“He was just that kind of a person who gave one hundred percent. Just like this morning, he was giving one hundred percent,” the sheriff said.

It’s been 45 years since a Johnson County Deputy has been killed in the line of duty; Deputy Collins is the department’s 3rd death.

Police arrested one person in connection to the crash and that person is being held and faces charges of second-degree murder. FOX 4 is not releasing that person's name because they have not been formally charged.

Check back for updates from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office about services for Deputy Collins.