San Jacinto College honors student who died in bicycle-vehicle incident

06.11.2014 | By Rob Vanya

Clyde Johnson (far right) was active in the San Jacinto College Men of Honor program. He is shown at a Men of Honor meeting with San Jacinto College employees (from left) Jerrel Wade and Dr. Jerry Wallace, and fellow Men of Honor member and classmate Lance Jack. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.


Clyde Johnson, 26, a San Jacinto College high-achieving student who was looking forward to graduating this spring, recently died in a traffic incident, and is fondly remembered for his warm and friendly personality.

“Clyde was very soft spoken, polite, and generous,” commented Dr. Jerry Wallace, a San Jacinto College educational planner who mentored Johnson in the College’s Men of Honor program, which provides counseling and assistance to African-American and Latino male students. “Clyde was very active in Men of Honor, which I think really saved his life. I remember giving him a haircut and grooming him. He would stare at himself in the mirror to see the change in himself. He would always tell me ‘thank you’ and would offer to assist me in any way to make up for the time I spent. I would tell him to simply graduate and be successful. He was determined to get on his feet and be a respectable working man.”

Johnson was riding his bicycle to work along Sheldon Road in Channelview in the early morning hours of April 3 when he was struck and killed by a vehicle.

“When I learned of his death, I could not believe it,” Wallace said. “The news really hurt me because Clyde was on his way. He recently got an apartment, a job, and new clothes, and was just about to get a car. He was born six days after my younger brother, and he died on my birthday. I miss Clyde very much, and I will never forget him and his warm personality.”

Friends and fellow students recall Johnson as someone who tried to stay low-key while he applied himself to improving his life through education and training. His area of study was welding technology, and his overall grade point average was 3.3. “Clyde was a very good welding student and was dedicated to learning how to weld and making a career out of it,” commented Eddie Foster, the San Jacinto College North Campus welding department chair.

Shortly after his death, San Jacinto College held a memorial service for Johnson at the North Campus. On May 21, students and employees who are members of the San Jacinto College Cycling Club rode in honor of Johnson during a Ride of Silence near Memorial Park. Ride of Silence is an annual global event that pays tribute to people who are either injured or killed in bicycle-motorist incidents.

“We were very saddened by the news that a fellow cyclist and a San Jacinto College student lost his life in a traffic incident,” commented Ruben Ramirez, a San Jacinto College science lab supervisor who serves as faculty advisor for the College’s Cycling Club and who participated in the Ride of Silence. “It could have been one of us involved in a traffic fatality. We wanted to honor Clyde, and to remind motorists to be aware of cyclists.”

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About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 credit students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career and workforce preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.


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