Former Division I Basketball Recruit Jailed For Fatal Car Crash Will Play In Upcoming Season
Former star basketball recruit Zaon Collins has been released from a Las Vegas jail after serving 90 days for his involvement in a high-speed car crash that claimed the life of 52-year-old Eric Echevarria.
According to 8 News Now, Collins entered into a guilty plea deal in 2020 on a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter to receive a lightened sentence of 72 months probation for his felony reckless driving count. The presiding Judge Tara Clark Newberry issued Collins a $3,500 fine along with community service for the incident.
“I would like to start off by sending my sincerest apologies to the family that was involved and impacted from this accident,” Collins said at his trial. “I understand I hurt many people with the role of my accident by recklessly driving, and I’m truly sorry. It’s something I have to live with the rest of my life.”
According to the Review-Journal, Collins was released on August 15, which was 56 days after he initially turned himself into authorities to serve his three-month jail sentence. Due to time served as well as “good behavior”, the now 21-year-old walked out of Clark County Detention Center a free man. Collins’ defense lawyer Frank Kocka addressed his client’s shortened jail time; arguing that he was still held longer than his original plea deal outlined.
“He got good time, but he was not released ‘early’,” he said. “He was actually held a couple days later than he should have been released.”
Collins was a Division I recruit for the top-rated University of Nevada, Las Vegas at the time of the fatal crash.
On Tuesday, September 12, the athlete’s name was listed on the roster for the Salt Lake Community College Bruins as a red- shirt freshman. Collins will remain on court-ordered alcohol monitoring until the end of his probation and will also undergo mental health and substance abuse counseling.