Man gets 10 years for intoxicated driving head-on with firefighter

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James Collins, 34
James Collins, 34

A Texarkana man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday in connection with a July 2014 collision with a Texas-side fireman.

James Collins, 34, was sentenced to a decade behind bars after pleading guilty to intoxication assault. Collins was impaired July 7, 2014, when he ran head on at about 8:30 p.m. into a Texarkana, Texas, fire department Ford Explorer being driven by Mike Norwood in the northbound lane of Summerhill Road in the 4700 block as it traveled to a house fire with activated emergency lights.

Collins was driving south on Summerhill in the wrong lane when his Lincoln Town Car collided with Norwood’s Explorer. Both men were taken to an area hospital for treatment. Norwood spent several days in the hospital and suffered a broken arm.

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Collins appeared before 202nd District Judge Leon Pesek, Jr., with Texarkana attorney David James for a plea hearing Monday at the Bi-State Justice Center in Texarkana. Collins pleaded guilty to intoxication assault of an emergency worker. First Assistant District Attorney Michael Shepherd prosecuted the case.

Collins, who had been free on bond, was taken into custody at the close of the hearing.

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