Two people were killed by a driver who plowed into two pedestrians and rammed into a car at a pop-up H2oi car rally in Wildwood, NJ, on Saturday night, authorities said.
The accused death driver, Gerald White, 37, of Pittsburgh was also charged with trying to flee the scene, NJ.com reported.
White allegedly plowed his 2003 Infiniti into a 2014 Honda Civic at Burk and Atlantic avenues in the seaside resort around 9:30 p.m., knocking two pedestrians at the crowded event to the ground, according to the outlet.
White then allegedly tried to drive off but was caught by police and taken into custody, the outlet said.
Killed in the crash was 18-year-old Lindsay Weakland of Carlisle, Pa., NJ.com reported.
Timothy Ogden, a passenger in the Honda Civil, was rushed to Atlantic City Medical Center. The 34-year-old Clayton, NJ, man was later pronounced dead, the outlet said.
In a statement, Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland denounced the rally.
“We have heard of tragic deaths around this country based on stray bullets from illegal shootings, hitting innocent bystanders and children, ” Sutherland said, WPVI-TV reported. “This is no different.
“Driving a motor vehicle at a high speed in a populated area is essentially the same as discharging a firearm,” he said. “The results are the same: death and injury.”
The rally, an unauthorized event titled H2oi or H2Oi or H2022, is the latest in a series of pop-up rallies, with previous controversial gatherings being held in Ocean City, Maryland and elsewhere, raising local safety concerns, NJ.com said.
In an Instagram post Sunday, the page for “H2oicars” denounced the Wildwood rally and said it was not involved in the event.
“We will not support, share, post or condone the behaviors and actions that have taken place in Wildwood,” it said. “Takeovers are different from shows and meets in big cities. Takeovers exhibit no regard or respect to the families or visitors of that city, and reverts years of effort of gaining respect for the car community that so many have fought for.
“That is NOT what h2oi has EVER been about,” the post said. “If you have to host takeovers to enjoy cars then you’re in the wrong community. Kindly f*ck yourself and grow up. No one likes y’all.”