Police charge driver suspected of doing donuts on Bay Bridge

A driver does donuts across three lanes on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge amid heavy traffic in September 2020.

CENTREVILLE — The Virginia man accused of doing donuts on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge last year will spend a weekend in jail after he pleaded guilty on Monday to disturbing the peace and reckless driving.

“It’s very fortunate you were not injured and no one else was injured,” said Queen Anne’s County District Judge Frank Kratovil, who handed down the penalty Monday to Gary Ray Montague, Jr., 23. The judge suspended 58 days of a 60-day sentence.

Kratovil said the stunt “demonstrated the ignorance of youth,” and called the danger it posed “substantial” enough to warrant a period of incarceration.

Montague entered an Alford plea to disturbing the peace and reckless driving for accusations he stopped three lanes of heavy traffic several times on the bridge’s westbound span in September 2020 to spin wheels and do donuts in his car.

Montague’s attorney, Robin Henley, said the plea was not an admission of guilt rather a “best-interest” plea that acknowledges the prosecution had enough evidence to obtain a conviction if the case had gone to trial.

The prosecution dismissed three other criminal charges and all but one of the 23 traffic offenses in the case in exchange for Montague’s plea, but recommended jail time based on the “dangerousness” of the crime.

QAC Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Cuches said in an interview after the sentencing he’s hopeful Montague’s serving time behind bars will deter him and others from doing similar “extremely dangerous” stunts in the future.

Cuches called Kratovil a “reasoned, fair and just” judge, and said the two-day jail sentence he ordered Montague to serve is appropriate.

While Kratovil spared Montague the maximum 60 days in jail, he ordered him to serve 18 months of supervised probation, meaning if he commits any new crimes he could face the remaining 58 days in jail and have to pay the hundreds of dollars in fines associated with the charges against him.

Montague said in the courtroom Monday he was “sorry” to come before the court and he is making a “drastic change” to his lifestyle, which his attorney said involves an interest in vehicles, car racing and stunts.

Montague is expected to report to the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center for the weekend at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12.

The bridge incident happened after the H2Oi pop-up and unsanctioned car show weekend in Ocean City.

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