Photo: Tom McParland
The infamous H20i car show is known for scores of slammed and tuned cars and an unfortunate subset of drivers who aren’t too concerned about public safety. This year this “unsanctioned car show” ended up in my corner of the Jersey Shore and a consequence was the death of two people.
I had no idea that the notorious car show was headed for Wildwood, New Jersey, because as a 41-year-old dad I fall squarely in the camp of “too old for this shit.” But I thought something was odd when I came out of the grocery store on Friday and spotted not one but three heavily modified cars.
I can’t remember the last time I encountered a really modded car in the wild. Then I started to read reports on social media of an “unsanctioned car show” coming to town and local folks saying that the Garden State Parkway started to look like a scene from a “Fast and Furious” movie.
I was prepping my house for my son’s 10th birthday party on Saturday when the reports started to come out from local media about the aftermath of this “H20i” event. Among the intersection burnouts and high-speed runs down residential shore-town streets, was a crash that left two people dead.
According to NJ.com –
Gerald J. White, 37, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is charged with multiple counts of death by auto, assault by auto and related charges for one of the crashes that marred the town of Wildwood Saturday night during a “pop up” gathering known as known as H2oi, or H20i or H2022.
White was at the wheel of a 2003 Infiniti that struck a 2014 Honda Civic, then two pedestrians at Burk and Atlantic avenues shortly after 9:30 p.m., authorities said. A pedestrian, Lindsay Weakland, 18, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and a Civic passenger, Timothy Ogden, 34, of Clayton, died from their injuries.
Man charged in connection to unsanctioned car event in Wildwood that left 2 dead, others injured
This isn’t the first time that Mr.White was reckless with an automobile. NJ.com further reports that White has racked up several citations resulting in thousands of dollars in fines according to records via the New Jersey Courts. White was ticketed twice in 2020 for driving with a suspended license. White’s father told NJ Advanced Media that his son recently flipped a Pontiac while going 80 mph on the highway.
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The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office released a statement denouncing this weekend’s events by saying, “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.”
H20i events originated in Ocean City, Maryland, and were once looked at as a bunch of car enthusiasts being hassled by “the man” for having cars that were too low, too loud, or both. This latest incident certainly doesn’t help.