A mentally challenged man, headed to a job he loved, was hit by two cars and killed just moments after he got off a METRO bus.
One driver stopped, but investigators are still looking for a second driver who left the scene.
Carl Belin worked less than a mile away from the bus stop for an organization that employs the disabled. Crossing Hempstead Highway was something he did every day, so his boss is just baffled by what happened Tuesday morning.
For nearly 20 years, Belin worked for On Our Own, Inc., cleaning up roadways in the city of Houston and leading two or three other workers on his crew.
"He knew what was necessary to cross the street," said Sean Quigley, Executive Director of On Our Own, Inc.
At around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, Belin was struck and killed after he got off of a METRO bus. Witnesses told police three men were trying to cross Hempstead Highway. A female driver told police she saw the two others make it across and then suddenly Belin was in front of her vehicle.
A second driver who hit Belin didn't stop.
"Carl and the rest of the guys -- this is family," Quigley said.
The company was closed for business Tuesday as the organization mourned the loss of a dedicated employee who took pride in his work and never used his earned vacation time.
"He would be upset on rain days when we don't work because of safety issues. He would call up and say, 'Hey, what's going on?' He never missed a day of work if he didn't have to," said Quigley.
Despite his disability, Belin was independent. Family members told Local 2 he loved to draw and play the guitar.
"Every year we have a Christmas party and he would bring his guitar and sing Willie Nelson songs and Hank Williams songs and things like that. Even though he's not the greatest singer in the world, he still brought a smile to everyone's face," said Quigley.
The executive director of On Our Own says counselors will be on hand Wednesday when Belin's co-workers return to work.
In the meantime, he's hoping the other driver who hit Belin will come forward because the family is still searching for answers.
Investigators say they don't believe alcohol was involved in the accident.
Anyone with information on the second vehicle involved in the accident is urged to contact the HPD Hit and Run Unit at 713-247-4065.