Former New Zealand rugby international Jerry Collins was killed Friday along with his wife when a bus crashed into their car in southern France, local officials said.
Collins, 34, who was capped 48 times for the All Blacks, was near the town of Beziers when his car came to an unexplained stop on the A9 highway, before being hit by the bus.
The couple were travelling with their two-month-old daughter, who survived the accident but is in a serious condition, the officials said. The driver of the bus, which was carrying Portuguese tourists, was lightly injured.
A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said: "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been advised of a serious vehicle accident in France in which All Black rugby player Jerry Collins was killed."
Collins made his All Blacks debut against Argentina in 2001. His international career ended at just 26 when they lost to France in the quarter-finals of the 2007 World Cup in Cardiff.
The All Blacks official website describes the flanker as one of New Zealand's most feared enforcers.
"Collins was one of the toughest and most uncompromising forwards to ever play for the All Blacks and his ferocious tackling and intimidating presence made him feared by every opponent," it said.
Collins' death prompted tributes from former teammates and opponents, as well as current players, on social media.