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Prayer Vigil planned for Sunday to honor 2013 pedestrian deaths in Abilene

By Kelly Killian, Kelly Killian, kkillian@ktxs.com
Published On: Feb 08 2013 09:58:19 AM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge and Mark Hewitt from Love and Care Ministries stopped by KTXS on Friday to speak about the pedestrian deaths so far this year.

A prayer vigil is being held Sunday, Feb. 10 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on South 1st and Sewell. The vigil will remember the victims of pedestrian accidents from earlier this year. An open house will follow after the vigil at Love and Care Ministries from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

On Jan. 3, police said a homeless woman was killed after being hit by a truck on South 1st. The accident happened as 44-year-old Tina Brown was crossing the street around 7 a.m. when visibilty was still limited.

On Jan. 10, 32-year-old Zachary Melton was hit and killed by a truck shortly before 7 p.m. on SAyles Boulevard. The driver of the truck said he did not see Melton prior to the accident. Police said Melton was wearing dark clothing.

"We're just going to line up on South 1st and really pray," Hewitt said. "We've had so many deaths. We're just going to pray for the whole city."

Standridge said there were 3470 collisions just in the city of Abilene last year.

"Traffic fatalities doubled in 2012, as did fatalities associated with drunk driving," Standridge said. "We have a lot of work to do."

After the death of Brown, Standridge proposed giving local homeless the ability to wear orange traffic vests while walking around town.

"We have about 150 vests that have been promised," Standridge said.

The Chief of APD stressed that distracted driving is one of the most dangerous things people can do.

"I tell my teenage daughters all the time that driving is the most dangerous thing they will ever do in their life," Standridge said. "So when you get behind the wheel, actually drive, instead of all this distracted driving that we're currently doing."