Crime

‘I didn’t realize someone was hit’: Man charged in U.S. 17 hit-and-run death

Fatal hit-and-run suspect talks about night of wreck

Nicholas Xanthos charged with reckless homicide for fatal hit-and-run. Rikkel Collins, 38, was struck in late June along Highway 17 Bypass in the Myrtle Beach area.
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Nicholas Xanthos charged with reckless homicide for fatal hit-and-run. Rikkel Collins, 38, was struck in late June along Highway 17 Bypass in the Myrtle Beach area.

Despite being charged with reckless homicide, Nicolas Xanthos said he had no idea he struck a pedestrian on a dimly lit highway in late June.

“I didn’t realize someone was hit,” Xanthos told a magistrate on Sunday.

South Carolina Highway Patrol charged Xanthos, 48, with reckless homicide and hit-and-run involving death. An Horry County magistrate denied bond as Xanthos has ties to Greece. He also fled the area and was arrested weeks ago in New York, assistant solicitor Cara Walker said.

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On June 24, Rikkel Collins, 38, was hit along U.S. 17 Bypass near East Coast Honda at about 2:20 a.m. Her body was found hours later.

Her daughter, 16-year-old Kelly Collins, said the last month has been difficult as she hasn’t been able to call her mom when she needed help.

“She was so nice,” Collins said. “She was always willing to help someone.”

In fact, Collins told about the time her mom invited a homeless person inside their residence so he could wash up. The teen admitted it was a little creepy, but her mom was that type of person.

Allen Jones and Rikkel Collins had a 4-year-old son together and Jones said she was a great mom. Collins’ son would follow her around all the time.

“She loved that boy so much,” he said.

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