WILDWOOD — A 22-year-old man is accused of being behind the wheel of a BMW that crashed into a golf cart and hospitalized a father of four during a fatal pop-up car rally over the weekend.

Eryk Wnek was arrested in his hometown of Linden on Monday, according to Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland. Wnek is charged with second-degree aggravated assault and third-degree assault by auto.

According to prosecutors, the crash occurred Saturday around 9:23 p.m. at the intersection of Rio Grande Avenue and Park Boulevard.

Wildwood mayor likens violent event to 'riot'

It was one of several crashes throughout the Shore town that evening as multiple reports said more than 500 cars turned out for the chaotic H2Oi pop-up car rally.

Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron said authorities are tracking license plates to file charges against participants.

Byron told 6ABC Action News that this was no rally.

"It was a riot, is what it was," he was quoted as saying.

Eryk Wnek and his 2020 BMW with a red ribbon. (Eryk Wnek via Facebook)
Eryk Wnek and his 2020 BMW with a red ribbon. (Eryk Wnek via Facebook)

Father of 4 seriously injured at intersection

When police arrived at the scene, they concluded that Wnek had done a "burnout" and collided with another vehicle, officials said. His 2020 BMW then spun into a golf cart occupied by Erhan Bayram, his girlfriend, and their four daughters.

Bayram, 31, of Williamstown, was airlifted to the hospital. His girlfriend, Jessica Klepacz, and their daughters were treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries, Sutherland said.

Sutherland confirmed that Bayram was in critical but stable condition at Atlantic City Medical Center as of late Tuesday morning.

Erhan Bayram with his family in Wildwood one hour before a crash with a BMW on 9/24/2022. (Jessica Klepacz via Facebook)
Erhan Bayram with his family. (Jessica Klepacz via Facebook)

Multiple onlookers took videos of the crash and the upsetting aftermath. Some of the footage went viral on social media sites including Youtube, Facebook, and Tik Tok.

Pittsburgh man charged in 2 deaths

This crash took place less than 15 minutes before a separate fatal crash at 9:36 p.m. at the intersection of Burk and Atlantic Avenues that left two people dead. According to prosecutors, Gerald White, 37, of Pittsburgh, faces two counts of death by auto for the incident that killed Lindsay Weakland, 18, of Carlisle, PA, and Timothy Ogden, 34, of Clayton.

Wnek is currently being held at Cape May County jail pending a court appearance, according to Sutherland. Sutherland said the CMCPO's investigations are ongoing and more charges could be filed.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at richard.rickman@townsquaremedia.com

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