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Driver arrested in Waco funeral procession crash

Driver arrested in Waco funeral procession crash

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A man who allegedly caused an officer to crash into a vehicle while conducting a funeral escort in November 2020 has been arrested.

Jelani James, 36, was arrested on Nov. 16 and charged with aggravated assault for his involvement in the collision.

Jelani James mugshot

James

On Nov. 25, 2020, a Waco officer was conducting a police funeral escort at approximately 11 a.m. when he was involved in an accident at the intersection of Corporation Parkway and Crosslake Drive.

According to department spokesperson Cierra Shipley, James had pulled up to the intersection and saw an opening in the procession, attempting to cut through. The police officer was traveling through the intersection on a police motorcycle when he crashed into the car that James was driving.

A second police officer, called to respond to the accident involving the funeral procession, was involved in a separate collision at the intersection of South 18th Street and Clay Avenue.

Both officers were transported to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, as well as both drivers of the vehicles involved in the accidents.

The incident remained under investigation and the aggravated assault indictment against James was issued in May.

The officer involved in the funeral procession incident is still recovering from his injuries, said Shipley.

James was transported to the McLennan County Jail, where he posted a $10,000 bond and was released.

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Reporter

Hailing from the Chicagoland area, Amaris E. Rodriguez is a 2019 graduate of Northeastern Illinois University and formerly worked the Journal & Topics news organization in Des Plains, Illinois.

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