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Allen Collins Remembered [VIDEO TRIBUTE]

He would have turned 60 years old today, born on July 19, 1952 in Jacksonville, Florida.

One of the founding members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Collins was a guitarist and songwriter, co-penning many of the band’s tunes with Ronnie Van Zant.

A southern rocker, he was no stranger to partying hard, especially after his wife died in 1980 during the miscarriage of their third child, which sent him spiraling downward.

His drinking and driving days cost him dearly.

He was injured in the infamous 1977 band plane crash, but it was a 1986 car crash that Allen Collins wouldn’t ever fully recover from, either physically or emotionally.

He drove drunk in that accident, his girlfriend died as a result, and he was paralyzed from the chest down which, of course, prevented him from ever playing on stage again.

As part of his plea bargain for the accident, Collins addressed fans at every Skynyrd concert with an explanation of why he could not perform, pointing to the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as drugs and alcohol.

Perhaps his biggest legacy is to remind all of us to never drink and drive.

He died at only age 37 on January 23, 1990, of chronic pneumonia, a complication of the paralysis.

R.I.P. Allen Collins and know that your music lives on in so many fans!

And also know that we’ll take to heart your words of caution about the tragedy that results from combining alcohol/drugs and driving.

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