In the wake of a homeless woman crossing the street being hit and killed last week by a truck in Abilene, more reflective vests have been donated to help the homeless be more visible to drivers.
According to police, 44-year-old Tina Brown was killed just after 7 a.m. Jan. 3 after a driver didn’t notice her crossing South 1st Street in dark clothing.
In response to the fatality, Police Chief Stan Standridge reached out to businesses and foundations for donations of reflective vests. As of Thursday, Standridge said about 150 vests have been donated toward the goal of 300 vests.
Standridge said homeless people won’t be forced to wear the vests.
"I conceded from the onset that I suspect some will wear them, some will never wear them," Standridge said. "However, if it saves even one life, I think it's worth our community's attention."
Of 10 homeless people interviewed Wednesday, only one opposed the vests. He did not want to be quoted.
"I have people almost try to run over me even on a bike so yeah, that would be a very good idea to have one of those," Charles said.
A man named Steve said he appreciates the idea because of his personal experience.
"Little over two weeks ago, I was hit on a moped so I know what it's like," Steve said. "Now I'm suffering, you know, from some pains and stuff like that. So whether the hospital is going to do any more or not, I don't know that, so that's why I'm looking the way I look, you know I don't want to look like this. But there's no place except for [The Salvation Army] in the early morning hours to get really cleaned up."
To donate, you can call the Abilene Police Department's administration office at (325) 676-660. The reflective vests are available to the homeless at Love and Care Ministries located at 233 Fannin St.