Man Charged in Wildwood, NJ, H2Oi Car Rally Golf Cart Crash that Critically Injured Dad of 4
Authorities have arrested a man in connection to an accident involving a golf cart that injured a father of four during the unsanctioned H2Oi car rally last weekend in Wildwood.
22-year-old Eryk R. Wnek of Linden, Union County, has been charged with second-degree aggravated assault and third-degree assault by auto.
At around 9:30 last Saturday night, officers with the Wildwood Police Department were called to the area of Rio Grande Avenue and Park Boulevard for a report of a crash.
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, a father of four, 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.
On Monday, Wnek was arrested in Linden by detectives from Wildwood and the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office. He is currently being held in the Cape May County Correctional Facility pending court proceedings.
An investigation into the accident continues and Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland said additional charges may be filed.
Numerous bystanders recorded video of the crash, which went viral across multiple social media platforms. That video was not included in this report due to its graphic content.
Fatal crash minutes later
Minutes after this crash, police responded to Burk and Atlantic Avenues for another accident that ultimately claimed the lives of two people.
According to police, 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. One of the pedestrians, 18-year-old Lindsay Weakland of Carlise, PA, died. The other victim was 34-year-old Timothy Ogden of Clayton, who was a passenger in the Honda Civic.
White was arrested and charged.
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 on the Wildwoods in a matter of hours, overwhelming first responders.
How to help authorities
Sutherland says anyone with information regarding any illegal activity during the H2Oi car rally is urged to contact his office at (609) 465-1135 or the Cape May County Sheriff's Office.
The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.