Johnson County deputy killed in crash had helped save a man’s life day before his death

DE SOTO, Kan. -- Charges have been filed against the man accused of killing a Johnson County Sheriff's deputy.

Kansas City, Kansas resident Adrian Espinosa-Flores, 28, is charged with involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence, after slamming his truck into Master Deputy Brandon Collins' vehicle early Sunday.

Master Deputy Brandon Collins

Master Deputy Brandon Collins

One family from De Soto says Deputy Collins had saved the life of one of their own the day before his death. They talked exclusively with FOX 4 News.

“[Deputy Collins] had just saved Nick's life. I extend my condolences. I am very sorry his family and their loss,” Megen Bedford said.

The last life Deputy Collins saved was likely that of Bedford’s boyfriend, Nick Billings. Deputy Collins was among the first responders called to the De Soto Inn Motel after 1 o'clock on Saturday morning, where Billings was having an undisclosed medical emergency.

“I was asleep and awoke to nick gasping for air,” Bedford said. “I checked his pulse. He didn't have a pulse. His eyes were rolled to the back of his head. At that point, I tried to call 911 from my phone.”

Bedford says she found her phone battery was dead. She panicked, and asked someone in the motel parking lot to call for help.

“It was pretty quick,” Bedford said. “Within five minutes, you could hear the sirens coming.”

Bedford says she looked on, as Deputy Collins and a crew of paramedics gave Billings emergency CPR. He was treated and released after an overnight stay at a local hospital.

“It's hard to see someone you care about so much not breathing and not knowing if they're going to come back,” Bedford said.

Billings told FOX 4 News he knows how fortunate he is to be alive.

When Bedford saw that Deputy Collins had been killed in a crash on Sunday morning on U.S. 69 South, she couldn't believe it was the same officer.

“My heart just dropped,” Bedford said.

Espinosa-Flores is expected in a courtroom in Olathe for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday afternoon.

Bedford says members of her own family are also active in the local law enforcement community, and she realizes if Deputy Collins hadn't have intervened, her boyfriend might be gone.

Deputy Collins’ family released a statement thinking the community for their outpouring of support and prayers. He leaves behind two young daughters, a wife, and many other family members and friends.

Collins’ visitation and memorial service will be held at the College Church of the Nazarene in Olathe. The visitation will be held Wednesday 5-8 p.m. The memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. on Thursday.  A memorial fund has now been set up at Mainstreet Credit Union (available at any of their locations) under the account name Deputy Brandon Collins Memorial Fund.