More Charges Filed Against Driver in Fatal Wildwood, NJ, H2oi Car Rally Crash
Authorities in Cape May County say they have filed additional charges against a driver who killed two people in a crash during an unsanctioned H2oi car rally in Wildwood last weekend.
According to the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office, 37-year-old Gerald J. White of Pittsburgh, PA, was driving an Infinity when he crashed into a Honda Civic and then two pedestrians near Burk and Atlantic Avenues around 9:30 Saturday night.
The accident claimed the lives of one of the pedestrians, 18-year-old Lindsay Weakland of Carlise, PA, and 34-year-old Timothy Ogden of Clayton, who was a passenger in the Honda.
At the scene, officials learned that White fled but he was quickly located and taken into custody.
White has now been charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated manslaughter (extreme indifference), two counts of first-degree aggravated manslaughter (eluding police), two counts of second-degree aggravated assault (serious bodily injury), and two counts of second-degree aggravated assault (fleeing from police).
He remains lodged in the Cape May County Correctional Facility.
Weekend of chaos
Last Saturday's H2oi car rally was formerly held in Ocean City, MD, but officials there banned it because of widespread problems. This year, the unsanctioned event moved to Wildwood and chaos unfolded across much of Cape May County.
Police say as many as 500 cars descended upon the Wildwoods in a matter of hours, overwhelming first responders.
Father of four hurt in another crash
Another crash during the rally Saturday night critically injured a father of four at Rio Grande Avenue and Park Boulevard.
Upon arriving officers determined Eryk Wnek was the at fault driver of a 2020 BMW that did a “burn out,” collided with another vehicle, and then struck a low-speed vehicle.
That low-speed vehicle was a golf cart being driven by 31-year-old Erhan Bayram of Williamstown, who was airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center. As of Tuesday afternoon, Bayram was in critical but stable condition.
Bayram's girlfriend, Jessica Klepacz, and their four daughters, who were all passengers in the golf cart, were treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Wnek, of Linden, Union County, has been charged with second-degree aggravated assault and third-degree assault by auto.
More charges possible
Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland said he is considering filing charges against the event organizers.
The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.