Horrifying new footage shows the moment a car nearly hit a pedestrian before pulling off the end of a Virginia pier in a suspected suicide attempt.
Video shows the vehicle racing along the sidewalk before crashing through barriers and plunging into the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach on Saturday morning.
Sonar images released Monday show the wreckage on the ocean floor as rescue workers battle bad weather to retrieve it.
Meanwhile, as they continue their investigation, cops have shared an eerie underwater clip of the crash site.
Gruesome cell phone footage first emerged Sunday of the car careening down the 14th Street Fishing Pier before plunging over the edge and into the sea.
It sparked horror and mystery across the country as police admitted they did not know whether the driver escaped or was dead inside.
In the morning light, a silhouette can be seen walking along a footpath just as the SUV speeds past, first crossing a bike path and then onto the pier's wooden walkway
A sonar image provided by Virginia Beach Police shows the car on its roof, submerged in 20 feet of water
Eerie underwater footage released by Virginia Beach police shows the car driven off a 650-foot-long pier and lying on the ocean floor
The car's taillights were visible as it drove down the pier early Saturday morning
The new footage shows a silhouette walking along a footpath as the SUV speeds past, first crossing a bike path and then onto the pier's wooden boardwalk.
It then disappears from sight before racing down the pier – causing great destruction – and tumbling over the edge.
On Monday, video captured by divers using an ROV showed them reaching the vehicle, which was currently lying upside down on the ocean floor in about 20 feet of water.
The water was too murky and the sea too rough to identify distinguishing features of the vehicle, such as the license plate or who might have been inside.
The car plunged into the sea around 6:50 a.m. Saturday morning when the vehicle crashed through three barriers before racing down the 650-foot-long pier.
The vehicle braked briefly before crashing through the wooden balustrade at the end of the pier and plunging straight over the edge into the sea.
A woman standing on the beach captured the incident on camera when she heard a loud crash and began filming.
The red SUV can be seen crossing a bike path before driving straight onto the promenade
The car makes no attempt to stop when a pedestrian is just a few meters away from the accident
The Virginia Beach Fire Department was on scene within four minutes and sent a diver into the water to investigate the situation and rescue everyone in the car.
By the time the police arrived on site, the divers had already been pulled out of the water.
Police are currently working to recover the car and all of its occupants, but said they do not yet know how many people were inside.
“No one wants to solve this problem more than us,” said Sgt. Brian Ricardo of VBPD Special Operations. “We’re just as frustrated as everyone else about not being able to get in the water, and there’s nothing we can do to move this forward.”
Officers used side scan sonar to search for the vehicle, which was immediately located via sonar.
The car lies on its roof and moves unstable in the rough current.
At some point the car appeared to brake suddenly before going over the edge and into the sea
Then you can see how the car falls into the sea and breaks through the last balustrade
“The car is unstable,” Sergeant explained. Ricardo. “The fear for us is not that it will drift away, but that one of the divers will get caught in the car.”
“Strong currents and extremely poor visibility made it too dangerous for divers to safely navigate and assess the area, especially near a submerged SUV that was rocking on its roof in the turbulent current,” police tweeted on Monday.
The water temperatures should be around 40 °C.
Witnesses said the car turned from Atlantic Avenue onto the boardwalk at high speed and crashed through the first barriers at the pier.
In a series of tweets on Monday, police explained their future intentions.
“The goal of this mission remains the safe recovery of the vehicle, the reunification of all occupants with their loved ones and the preservation of the integrity of all evidence.”
The car broke through three barriers and reached the end of the pier
Police are investigating the scene at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, where a car drove through a gate on the pier at sunrise early Saturday in Virginia Beach
People stand where a car drove through a gate at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier
The car continued down the pier and eventually entered the water by the ocean at the end
Police received a call around 6:50 a.m. on Saturday, but due to difficult sea conditions, the find has yet to be recovered
“We appreciate our community’s concern over this incident. This is an ongoing investigation and we will continue to provide updates as we are able. We are working diligently to bring closure to those affected through our investigation and recovery process.
VBPD divers are trained in water rescue and not in underwater rescue.
Instead, the department deployed a team of recovery divers with specialized skills and equipment trained in sunken object recovery to recover the SUV, which was on its roof.
Deteriorating weather and sea conditions prevented VBPD from jumping into the water on Saturday.
Crofton Industries divers were hired to assist in the recovery effort.
The company has the right experience and equipment to recover objects from the seabed.
After the dive team was on site for much of the afternoon, rough seas eventually snapped chains and mooring lines used in the recovery, meaning the dive team will have to try again later in the week.
“I can understand people's frustration,” Sgt. Ricardo said. “But to tell you how dangerous it was, they broke two tether lines holding their cranes in place and they ripped a mooring line from the crane barge onto their submersible.
The pier remained closed Monday while police conducted their investigation
Some of the damaged barriers lie on the ground at the entrance to the pier
On Monday, investigative teams were gathered at the end of the pier
Some parts of the pier were damaged as the car smashed through everything in its path
Virginia Beach police are gathered on the pier as they conduct an investigation
The pier is 650 feet long and the water at the end is about 15 feet deep. The water temperatures are around 40°C
“Because it’s a crime scene, we want to leave.” [the car] We have to seal it off as much as possible because if we open the portal to the ocean we will lose evidence,” Ricardo explained.
The next attempt to recover the vehicle is expected to take place this Thursday or Friday.
One of the women who caught the incident on camera, Kaylynn Crawford, told WAVY: “We initially saw that it happened very quickly. “We thought it would just take off.
“But towards the end the car started to slow down and it looked like it was almost going to wobble at the end. Then suddenly it fell over the pier.”
Charlotte Murphy, who works at a seafood restaurant on the pier, told the outlet: “They went through three gates, which is pretty crazy, and those are really, really strong gates. “It's really crazy to think about it.
“As soon as I got here I was like, 'Holy cow, that's the craziest thing I've heard in a long, long time.'