Family, friends remember New Caney football player killed in hit-and-run

HOUSTON – In New Caney, a town of 20,000, news spreads fast, and so does heartbreak.

As students made their way to class Monday at New Caney High School, one thing is on their mind - the death of their 17-year-old friend and classmate.

Authorities believe Joshua Edward Givens was walking home from a quinceañera Saturday night when a vehicle, possibly traveling down the wrong side of the road, ran him over and just kept going. 

Investigators said just after midnight, a jogger called 911 and told them someone was face down in a ditch on McCleskey Road between Penny Road and U.S. 59.

VIDEO: KPRC's Vince Crivelli talks with Joshua Givens' coach Tony Robles

Hours after the crash, an Arkansas man, Logan Chase Foster, 23, was charged with failure to stop and render aid in an accident causing death.

"We’re glad we got the suspect," Sgt. Erik Burse said. "Hopefully, there is a little closure for the family. They’re devastated. Their 17-year-old child is no longer with them, and that’s sad."

Foster is being held on a $100,000 bond. If convicted, Foster could face anywhere between two to 20 years in prison.

Classmates of Givens are in a state of shock over his death. 

"I just thought It couldn't be real. It couldn't be him," said one student. "He was really like happy all the time. He brought really good spirits to the school," that student said. "I love him and I wish we had more time."

Another student said Given's death is "not going to hit for a long time."

"Everyone lost something different - a boyfriend, a teammate, a friend," that student said. "(I'll miss) his laugh, his smile and just how happy he was all the time."

“Something tells me that he doesn’t want me to cry. He wants me to stay happy,” said Dominique Fernandez, who knew Joshua since eighth grade. “I know there’s things that he wants me to do for his family so (out of) respect form him I’m gonna do anything.”

Givens' cousin, Shauntil Cox, said while the family is heartbroken, they will remember Givens' kind personality and the light he brought to others around him.

“It is just so apparent how many people were touched by his life and just love him so much,” Cox said.

His football coach, Tony Robles, identified Givens and said the news flipped his stomach inside out.
On Sunday morning, Robles got a call from Givens' mother. “And the words she told me is, 'Coach Tony, Josh is gone.'” 

Robles is more than a coach; he was a mentor for the junior at New Caney High School. “My heart sank. I couldn’t talk. I started shaking really hard,” he said. “To see a young man that I've seen grow up gone - it hurts. I still can’t believe I am going to see this young man in a casket.”

Friends told KPRC a memorial service will take place at New Caney Family Worship Center on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. They also plan to wear Joshua’s favorite shoes, Vans, to his funeral service. A date has not yet been set. 

The New Caney Independent School District released a statement about Givens' death:

It is with deep sadness that New Caney ISD learned of the passing of New Caney High School student Joshua Givens. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time. Additional counselors will be made available this week for students as needed.

Givens was a junior at New Caney High School and was expected to graduate in 2020. A GoFundMe account was made to help Given's family with funeral expenses. Click here to donate.

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