Two people were killed in New Jersey Saturday night when a man crashed his car into another vehicle and two pedestrians during an H2oi-related meet, according to authorities.
Gerald J. White, 37, crashed his 2004 Infiniti into a 2014 Honda Civic and struck two additional bystanders, at around 9:36 p.m. Saturday night in Wildwood, N.J., prosecutors said. One of the pedestrians, 18-year-old Lindsay Weakland, died at the scene. Timothy Ogden, 34, was riding as a passenger in the Civic and was transported to a nearby hospital. He later died in the hospital. White allegedly attempted to escape the crash site but was arrested soon after.
H2oi used to be a primarily German car show held in Ocean City, Maryland. There, it repeatedly attracted massive amounts of law enforcement attention due to the presence of highly modified cars and reckless driving. The official social media accounts and website attached to the original event are no longer active. It's unclear how closely related this version of H20i is to the event that used to take place in Maryland. Saturday's event was promoted on a public Facebook page that has since been taken down, NJ.com reports. The outlet also reports that people have taken to Facebook to say the people behind the original H2oi were not behind the events in Wildwood.
— Frank Franklin (@nilknarf53) September 25, 2022
The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office announced Sunday they charged White with two counts of death by auto, two counts of assault by auto, one count of eluding, one count of leaving the scene of an accident, and one count of "violation of laws to protect public safety." Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland said it's possible more charges may be added as the investigation continues.
“I would first like to share my sincere condolences with the families of the two victims who were needlessly killed and those that have been injured," Sutherland said in a statement. "Their lives will be forever changed. 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 H2Oi or H2O22. 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. Anyone thinking of engaging in organizing any type of similar pop-up event is forewarned that there will be a swift and appropriate law enforcement and legal response."
Another video shows a crowd in the streets surrounding unmarked police vehicles with their lights and sirens on. One person in the crowd appears to briefly ride on the back of one of the cop cars.
Video shared on social media over the weekend appears to show cars street racing, doing burnouts, and other reckless driving in and around the Wildwood area. One video being widely shared online shows a BMW 3-Series launching from a stop, hitting another car and a golf cart. It's unclear just how severely those involved in that particular crash were injured.
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