Thursday death not the first homeless traffic fatality in Abilene

ABILENE, Texas - It's a hazard that has cost people their lives. The homeless are at risk for deadly traffic accidents.

The problem is especially present near Love and Care Ministries in Abilene an organization that helps them find food, clothing or shelter.

On Thursday, Tina Brown was hit by a truck on South 1st St. after crossing the street.

In April of 2011, Gary Martin was run over by a train after walking accross the railroad tracks on North 1st near Burger St. A memorial is still at the crash site to remember him.

Last June, Mary Margaret Bowdon was crossing South 1st. She was hit by a van.

All of them were on their way to Love and Care Ministries.

"They are all people that we know," Hewitt said. "They are all friends of ours. It breaks our heart."

Mark Hewitt who founded Love and Care Ministries said change is needed.

"Maybe we can just figure out a better way of helping those who are walking the streets," Hewitt said.

Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge said the difference: reflector vests.

"We've already received 50 donate vests and gloves for our residential homeless," Standridge said. "So we're well on our way to the needed 500."

Hewitt agreed that it was a great idea, but of course, he said not everyone would wear them.

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