A Jeep enthusiast event held in Crystal Beach, Texas turned into a circus for police and everyone involved as hundreds of calls to 911, 10 major auto-pedestrian crashes, eight major auto crashes, and 14 minor collisions were collectively reported.
Local news affiliates report that the gathering, affectionately named “Go Topless,” draws hundreds of off-road vehicles each year—over 700 in 2017 when the last official count was held. A large portion of the crowd found itself in trouble this year, though, as the Galveston County Sherriff’s Office logged 68 arrests from Wednesday through Sunday, with dozens of those related to intoxication or driving while intoxicated.
As is sometimes common with these things, several fights broke out at the event, many of which were caught on camera with a pretty jamming country music soundtrack. The incidents and injuries were so numerous that the LifeFlight helicopter was called in to act as a regular ambulance because all of the others were already handling other calls related to the event.
Police credit the chaos to larger than usual crowds over the weekend. The Texas Open Beaches Act gives free public access to state-owned beaches, so there is no easy way to control events held on the waterfront. Sheriff Henry Trochesset said that officers couldn’t even reach many parts of the event because of total gridlock with all of the off-roaders piled into a small area, which was further condensed by high tides.
Go Topless isn’t just a Texas beach occurrence. The event is organized by Jeep drivers across the country and is named after the Jeep Wrangler’s removable roof. Other gatherings across the country appear to have been tamer affairs, but the high point for the Crystal Beach weekend was that “no one died,” according to Sheriff Trochesset.
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