OCEAN CITY — The motorists who was caught on video spinning out on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge following the pop-up car rally in Ocean City last September was found guilty this week and will spend a weekend in jail.
There were several serious incidents during the pop-up car rally in Ocean City last September, but perhaps the most notorious online came roughly 100 miles away on the Bay Bridge. Video footage circulated widely on social media captured the driver of a vehicle linked to the pop-up rally in Ocean City doing doughnuts on the Bay Bridge in the middle of a busy Sunday afternoon.
The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police obtained the video footage of the incident and began an investigation. The investigation confirmed the incident occurred on the westbound span of the Bay Bridge on Sept. 27. Through the investigation, MDTA officers were able to identify the driver as Gary Montague, Jr., 22, of Dumfries, Va.
After consultation with the State’s Attorney’s Office in Queen Anne’s County, where the incident occurred, Montague was charged with four counts of disorderly conduct and 23 total traffic violations, including reckless driving, willfully damaging a highway and driving a motor vehicle in a manner to cause skidding.
This week, Montague entered an Alford plea to one count of disorderly conduct. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not plead guilty, but acknowledges the state has enough evident to prosecute a case. Montague also pleaded guilty to one count of reckless driving.
Montague was sentenced to 60 days for the disorderly conduct conviction, all but 58 days of which were suspended. He will reportedly begin his two-day remaining sentence on Friday in Queen Anne’s County. He was also placed on supervised probation for 18 months.
For the last few years, a special event zone with increased penalties, jail time and hefty fines has been implemented during the pop-up rally and other motorized special events in Ocean City. During a motorized special event task force meeting in Ocean City last fall following the pop-up rally, Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser advocated for stronger traffic enforcement along highways throughout the state to curb some of the illicit behavior before they even get to Ocean City.
“It really is bigger than our town and even our county,” Heiser said at the time. “We need to coordinate efforts throughout the state. That’s the goal here. Everything along the way on Route 50 and even everything along the way through Delaware would be extremely beneficial. We can rebrand that week as traffic safety week.”