At least two people were killed following a pop-up car rally in Wildwood on Saturday and a 37-year-old man has been charged with their deaths, according to the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office. The incident occurred Saturday night during a string of car crashes related to an “unsanctioned” car meet-up event known as H2oi or, H20i, or H2022.
Gerald J. White, 37, of Pittsburgh, Pa. is charged with two counts of death by auto and other related charges including leaving the scene of the accident, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.
Authorities say they were called to Burk and Atlantic Avenues around 9:36 p.m. for a multi-car crash involving pedestrians. White, who was driving a 2003 Infinity, is accused of hitting a 2014 Honda Civic and then hitting two pedestrians. Police say he attempted to flee but was soon caught.
One of the pedestrians, Lindsay Weakland, 18, of Carlisle, Pa., was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the Civic, Timothy Ogden, 34, of Clayton, was taken to Atlantic City Medical Center but later died from his injuries, police said.
White was also charged with two counts of assault by auto, eluding, leaving the scene of an accident, and violation of laws to protect public safety. He’s being held in Cape May County Correctional Facility.
The prosecutor’s office said additional charges may still be filed.
Videos on several social media sites out of Wildwood Saturday night show modified vehicles revving their engines and peeling out at traffic lights as onlookers crowd into the streets to watch, cheer them on and record with their cell phones.
In at least one video, a massive crowd fills the streets of Ocean Avenue, blocking police from getting through.
New Jersey Advance Media saw three damaged vehicles at the scene of the fatal accident near Bagel Time Cafe on Atlantic Avenue near Burke Avenue, where one of the cars had struck the building. A SUV from the state medical examiner’s office was also on site.
“Make no mistake that the tragic and dangerous events over the last several days in Wildwood, Rio Grande, Seaville and surrounding communities are a direct result of the organizers of a pop-up car rally self-identified as H20i or H2022,” a statement from Cape May Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland said. “Directing hundreds if not thousands of people driving high performance vehicles to an area without any planning, staging or permitting created the chaos that led to these deaths and injuries.”
The aftermath of what happened Saturday night in Wildwood — at least two were killed following a pop-up car rally in Wildwood — was visible in the city on Sunday.
Tire tracks, perhaps from either speeding or skidding vehicles, were visible at multiple intersections.
New Jersey State Police troopers, Wildwood police officers, and officers from the Cape May Sheriff’s Office were patrolling the neighborhood. Occasionally, some cars — possibly from the prior night’s gathering — were being pulled over.
Anthony Bucolo, owner of the Fountain Motel on Atlantic Avenue — where two people were killed in a multi-car crash — said the police came to the motel to question two people who were staying there and to look at his surveillance camera.