Texas City PD officer's lights, sirens not operating when 72-year-old hit, investigators believe

Miya Shay Image
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Family seeks Texas City officer's dash cam video when 72-year-old hit
Only 13 is speaking with George Arness' family in the wake of a crash that left the father of five and grandfather of 22 dead.

LA MARQUE, Texas (KTRK) -- Standing at the corner of FM 1764 and Highway 2004, Lois Weaver holds onto a few last pieces of her father's life.

"That's the headlight, that's his belt, that's his shoe, and that's his glasses," she said.

Weaver picked up these items on the side of the road one day after her father, George Arness, was hit and killed by a Texas City police SUV on Saturday as he returned from a trip to Walmart along with one of his daughters.

"We just need to get this out because my dad didn't deserve to die like this," Weaver said with tears streaming down her face. "My dad was 72 years old. He has 22 grandchildren and five children."

Weaver says she is determined to ensure her father gets justice, pushing the Galveston County Sheriff's Office for a thorough investigation.

"We're going to do everything we can to make sure this is above par, honest, and we'll turn all the facts to the (Galveston County) District Attorney," confirmed Sheriff Henry Tochesset.

The Galveston County Sheriff's Office took over the investigation after the crash.

Sheriff Tochesset confirms that Texas City police officer, Joseph Waggoner, was on his way to help out La Marque police on a burglary call.

The call reportedly concerned some fencing that was torn down at the now-closed dog racing track across the street from where the fatal crash happened.

"I have people reaching out to me, and I have people saying to me, 'the cop didn't have any lights and sirens,'" Weaver said.

Sheriff Tochesset confirmed on Monday that investigators do not believe Officer Waggoner was running lights and sirens.

Weaver says that detail is crucial. Because the officer had no lights or sirens, her father wasn't aware that a police car was barreling toward the intersection.

"I want the dash cam (video), the body cam. I want everything. I don't want this just to sit and be pushed aside because we look like we don't have money or whatever it is. Every life matters," she said.

Texas City Police Department did not respond to any inquiries.

A statement was released but did not address the issue of whether the officer had his lights and sirens on.

"On Saturday, March 18, 2023, at 10:11 p.m. Texas City Police Officer Joe Waggoner was responding to assist LaMarque Police Department and was involved in an automobile accident in the city limits of LaMarque. The accident occurred at the intersection of FM 1764 and FM 2004 and involved two vehicles, one Texas City Police patrol car and a white in color passenger car. The passenger car was occupied with two people and the Texas City patrol car was solely occupied by Officer Waggoner. Medics were called to the accident scene and transported both occupants of the white car to nearby medical facilities. Officer Waggoner was checked out at the scene and was later taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the white car who was identified as George Arness W/M 4-22-50 succumbed to his injuries at the hospital and the female passenger identified as Patricia Arness W/F 7-7-91 was admitted for her injuries. The accident scene was immediately turned over to the Galveston County Sheriff's Office for investigation along with the Galveston County District Attorney's Office. Officer Waggoner is currently off due to his injuries but will be placed on administrative duties when he returns pending the outcome of the investigation. "

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