Missing man may be linked to Virginia Beach fishing pier crash, police say

Virginia Beach police have postponed the recovery of the SUV that crashed off the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier over the weekend.

Portsmouth-based Crofton Industries helped the department remove the vehicle from the ocean, where it has been since Saturday morning. Crofton Industries said recovery was “not permitted” Tuesday due to weather and water conditions.

Virginia Beach police said the case of a missing man “has many similarities” to the circumstances of Saturday’s accident at the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier.

Police posted an update on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying the department had been contacted by the man’s family. His identity has not been revealed.

Here’s what we know – and what we don’t know – about the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier accident

Police said they could not confirm whether the cases were related, and rescue efforts could not identify the SUV’s license plate number.

The first call came in at 6:52 a.m. for a car crossing the end of the wooden pier from 15th Street to the Oceanfront. The driver is presumed dead, but police are still working on a plan to remove the vehicle.

Weather and water conditions have interrupted recovery efforts. Authorities cited visibility and safety concerns for divers and remote-controlled devices. The gooseberry was moving four times relative to the safe diving threshold, and remote devices could not remain stationary in positions to obtain images.

“If you’re standing on the edge of the ocean and the current hits you and you get knocked over while you’re in a swimsuit, imagine wearing 90 pounds of scuba gear and being strapped to me on top, to so I can communicate with you when you are down, in zero visibility,” said Sgt. Brian Ricardo of the VBPD.

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The vehicle, which is on its roof, presents a risk of entanglement, he said. Divers can become trapped under the SUV, which sways with the current, and tethers could get caught in other obstacles.

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer said Tuesday afternoon that he is aware of the challenges divers face.

“We want to get it right,” Dyer said. “Please be assured that this is a very high priority at this time. »

Ricardo said the car was still a crime scene and authorities would assume there was a body inside the SUV until proven otherwise. Police say they cannot go in and remove the body on their own to protect the investigation.

“We want to leave it encapsulated as best we can, because when you open that portal to the ocean, we’re going to lose evidence,” Ricardo said. “That’s what we don’t really want to do, is lose evidence, but if we have to, that’s what we do.” It’s also part of our job because we all want to go after them, but we know that as investigators we have to make tough decisions.

Eliza Noé, eliza.noe@virginiamedia.com

Staff writer Stacy Parker contributed to this report.

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