Over the years I have shared my love of the Jersey Shore regularly. It seems like everyone has their favorite beach they visit year after year. For my husband and I it is Wildwood Crest.
When my husband was just a boy, his family would vacation at the Pan American every summer. When we began dating, he introduced me to this lovely area and that’s been our “down the shore” spot ever since.
This weekend our beloved spot down the shore was infiltrated by a group of thugs-claimed-car-enthusiasts known as H2Oi. This was an unsanctioned event and had nothing to do with the Classic Car Show taking place.
This group has quite the reputation of causing damage, having zero regard for safety, and creating problems everywhere they go. In previous years they would meet in Ocean City, Maryland. After long-term planning and a hard clamp-down on the group, they finally left the area alone.
Next stop – Wildwood.
They were warned to not to come to this lovely little area. That if they did, the behavior they are infamous for would not be tolerated.
They came anyway.
They caused damage, had no consideration for the residents or other visitors that were in the area to just enjoy a weekend at the shore. By the end of the night on Saturday, two people were dead, an unknown number were injured, and a car struck a building.
To say their behavior is shameful is putting it lightly.
The police, fire department, EMS, DPW, and other town services and first responders did their absolute best to hold back the proverbial ocean. They called in support from the entire county as well as the New Jersey State Police.
Gerald J. White, 37, of Pittsburgh, faces multiple charges and is currently being held without bail in Cape May County jail. Police say he crashed into a Honda Civic, killing its passenger, Timothy Ogden, 34, of Clayton and killing a pedestrian, Lindsay Weakland, 18, of Carlisle.
During the 2019 H2oi event in Ocean City, Maryland one driver doing a burnout hit a child and adult with their car, according to a report at the time from the Baltimore Sun. In 2020, Ocean City police reportedly issued more than 3,500 citations and impounded and towed over 350 cars throughout the event – also unsanctioned.
The group moved on from Ocean City when they finally got the message. Sadly, Wildwood was next on their list. Like a gang of traveling thugs, they go where they want and do what they want.
This is a lovely little town and they wreaked havoc. For nothing.
Over the last two years the behavior of people, for whatever reason, has descended into utter chaos. It may sound old fashioned, but manners and decency should still matter.
I know this isn’t the typical post from me. My husband and I are heartbroken and our prayers are with those who suffered this weekend and the families of the two individuals who were killed.
These supposed “car fans” should be ashamed. This should be a wakeup call for every town in our beautiful state. They need to clamp down on these events no matter where they are. There’s a small one that takes place once a week in my little town and nothing will be done until someone either hits a pedestrian or wraps their car around a pole. Our Representatives in Trenton and Governor need to give police the support they need to stop these “clubs” right in their tracks.
Be better people. It’s not that hard.