Two killed, one arrested in crash at Wildwood ‘unsanctioned’ pop-up car rally
A Pittsburgh man has been arrested in a crash that killed two people Saturday night, as a pop-up car rally caused chaos in Wildwood this weekend.
Gerald White, 37, is charged with two counts of death by auto in the deaths of a passenger in another vehicle and a pedestrian, Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland and Wildwood Police Chief Robert Regalbuto announced.
The full circumstances surrounding the incident are still under investigation and additional charges may be filed, Sutherland said.
Wildwood police were called to Burk and Atlantic avenues at about 9:36 p.m. for a multiple-vehicle crash.
White, who was driving a 2003 Infiniti, struck a 2014 Honda Civic and then two pedestrians, according to the preliminary investigation.
He then tried to flee the scene, but was quickly apprehended, authorities said.
Lindsay Weakland, 18, of Carlisle, Pa., was pronounced dead at the scene.
Timothy Ogden, 34, of Clayton, Gloucester County, was taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, where he later died of his injuries.
White is also charged with two counts of assault by auto, along with a count each of eluding, leaving the scene of an accident and violation of laws to protect public safety.
He is in the Cape May County Correctional Facility.
“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. “Their lives will be forever changed.”
He then focused on the car rally that has caused multiple issues and resulted in several police departments called in to help, including Middle Township, Atlantic City and the State Police.
“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,” 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.
“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,” he added. “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. Further, the size and weight of a motor vehicle also results in the destruction of private and public property.”
He commended those who responded to help.
Sutherland urges anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office at (609) 465-1135, or the information can be reported anonymously through the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office Anonymous
TIP System by visiting cmcpo.tips from any computer, tablet, or smart phone.
Information can also be reported to the Cape May County Sheriff’s Tip Line at cmcsheriff.net and click on anonymous tip, or through the Cape May County CrimeStoppers, (609) 889-3597.