DPS releases name of Tyler man who died after head-on crash with intoxicated driver

William Charles Chaplinski
William Charles Chaplinski(Smith County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:31 PM CDT
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SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - On Sept. 8, a man died when his SUV was struck head-on by a pickup in Smith County.

The victim, who died at the scene, has been identified as Harry Collins III, of Tyler. Collins was 42 years old.

The preliminary report by DPS stated that Collins was driving his Kia Sportage northbound on Hwy 155 about one-half mile south of Winona.

A man, identified as William C. Chaplinski, 22, of Big Sandy, was driving an allegedly stolen Nissan Titan southbound on Hwy 155. Chaplinski crossed the center line to pass another vehicle while in a no-passing zone, striking Collins’ SUV head on, according to the DPS report.

Chaplinski was in an ambulance being treated by EMS when a DPS trooper arrived, and the strong odor of alcohol was allegedly notable on his breath, along with visibly bloodshot, glassy eyes. The trooper said he saw an SUV on the east side of Highway 155 with a man inside, now identified as Collins, who had been pronounced dead.

A portable breath test administered to Chaplinski showed a result of 0.114 g/210 L. Any result greater than 0.08 g/210 L is considered to indicate that a person is too impaired to drive safely.

Collins was declared dead at the scene by a Smith County justice of the peace. Chaplinski was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries from the wreck. He has been charged with intoxication manslaughter as well as unauthorized use of a vehicle, and booked into the Smith County Jail on a $600,000 bond.

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