Homeless victim remembered after freak bus stop accident

By Courtney Lane - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - They called Clayton Allen "Shadow" on the streets. The 47-year-old East Texas man was killed Friday in a bizarre accident.

Allen died while waiting for a bus on Troup Highway.  A truck on a wrecker came loose, hitting Clayton and another man.

While Allen didn't have any close friends, he was known by plenty of people. The ladies at College Books by Tyler Junior College knew him and tried to help.

"We took him and got him fixed up, got him shaved, and cleaned up one time and he loved coming over here," said Deedee Hanson.  "He'd sit and stay for hours."

Flowers mark the scene of the accident, which took his life and could easily have killed more. Transit officials say there's not much more they can do, as bus stops have to comply with federal guidelines and be accessible for those with disabilities.

"Depending on the street, the type of street, the right of way is very narrow," said Director of Airport and Transit Services, Davis Dickson.  "You may see bus shelters that are, as long as they're behind the curb that's what we want to make sure of, they always have to be behind the curb."

Tyler will soon get a dozen new bus shelters.

"We've actually had a professional engineer design each of those sites and again looking at right of way and how we can manage to put those shelters in a very safe location," said Dickson.

For Shadow, it was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hanson wonders what will happen to him now, or any homeless person for that matter, who is killed.

"It was just very sad. To be in this world and not have anyone."

Justice of the Peace, James Meredith says Smith county does have a contract with a funeral home in Van for this type of situation.

"To do cremations, unless some family or other people come forward wanting to do something. I have had a few phone calls this morning from people concerned about him."

It seems East Texans are still trying to help.

The wrecker company, Absolute Towing, say they are "very saddened" by the accident. Tyler police say they're not sure if anything will happen against that company, as it's still under investigation.

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