Last Updated on September 25, 2022
Two people were killed and several others were injured after a crash resulting from an “unsanctioned” car rally in Wildwood, New Jersey. The town was essentially paralyzed on Saturday night after thousands of “car enthusiasts” descended upon Cape May County where they took over streets and caused widespread property damage. Wildwood is a popular vacation destination on the jersey shore.
Lindsay Weakland, 18, and Timothy Ogden, 34, were both killed when a driver reportedly struck another car and two pedestrians, then tried to flee near Burk and Atlantic avenues around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Fox 29 Philadelphia reported.
Thousands of people descended on the beach town over the weekend for the “unsanctioned” pop-up H2oi car rally. Saturday night’s fatal crash was a “direct result” of the rally, according to the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office.
“We have heard of tragic deaths around this country based on stray bullets from illegal shootings hitting innocent bystanders and children; this is no different. Driving a motor vehicle at a high speed in a populated area is essentially the same as discharging a firearm. The results are the same, death and injury,” the office said in a statement released Sunday.
A 37-year-old man, Gerald J. White of Pittsburgh, PA was arrested and charged with death by auto for allegedly driving the car involved in the fatal crash.
Disturbing footage of the crash shows a car, allegedly driven by White, accelerating from a standstill before accelerating down Atlantic Avenue. White’s vehicle collided with another car that was being driven by Timothy Ogden, who was killed.
Lindsay Weakland, 18, was also killed in the crash.
2 Killed, More Injured at Unsanctioned Wildwood Car Rally *𝗦𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗹* https://t.co/bY8QXtGeSn One person has been charged and was taken into police custody in connection with the deadly crash. pic.twitter.com/8BdZPjJROn
— 𝗥𝗢𝗗𝗥𝗜𝗤𝗨𝗘𝗭 (@rodriQuez) September 25, 2022
The event was described by NJ.com as relatively calm earlier in the day, but the situation escalated into mayhem by nightfall. Massive groups of people swarmed the streets, drivers pulled donuts in the middle of intersections and in at least two incidents, caused crashes that injured bystanders, NJ.com reported.
In one video taken during the day, a blue car is seen doing burnouts through an intersection with a stop sign before being chased by a police vehicle. Other videos show chaotic intersections filled with smoke at night as cars do donuts.
Rally attendees were in almost complete control of the streets Saturday night, NJ.com reported. Emergency vehicles were unable to pass due to the large groups of people who were congregating in the middle of busy intersections.
In addition to the two deaths, the event caused thousands of dollars in property damage, multiple injuries and briefly led to the closure of a bridge.
A few scenes from this year's H2Oi pic.twitter.com/RlzVauGrcV
— Skyflyer Channel 8 News (@skyflyer81) September 25, 2022
H2oi has been held in nearby Ocean City, Maryland in the past, but it was moved to Wildwood this year after Ocean City cracked down on the event.