Stay Calm: Police Finally Release Make and Model of the Va. Beach Pier Car

by Kerry Dougherty

Everyone try to maintain your composure. Let’s all stay calm. Perhaps a few moments of meditation are in order.

Deep breath.


We finally know the make and model of the car that drove off the 14th Street pier more than a week ago.

The police had that information but withheld it from the public, they said, “to avoid a panic.”

The car that spent almost a week in the Atlantic because the city couldn’t figure out how to remove it from its watery 17-foot grave is a red Nissan Kicks.

Good Lord that’s shocking. Thank goodness THOSE details didn’t leak. Imagine what might have happened.

In case you’re wondering, as I was, what a Nissan Kicks looks like, we’ve included a photo of the panic-inducing compact SUV from the NissanUSA website.

The car was pulled from the ocean Friday morning with its lone occupant – a male – inside.

There were no license plates on the car, which is odd.

It would seem unlikely that the plates simply floated away. Why would someone go to the trouble of removing them before driving off a pier? All that might have done is draw attention to the car on its way to the oceanfront. Was that a cry for help?

I mean no disrespect to the person who apparently took his own life by speculating on these matters. Suicide is a heinous thing and sadly, it touches so many families these days. We have a mental health crisis in this country that was exacerbated by the insanity and isolation that took over during Covid. We need to get help to people who feel that the only answer is death.

Before some start scolding me for asking questions, remember that when one commits suicide in a public place and public monies — in this case, a lot of them — are spent on recovery, the public deserves honesty and answers from public officials.

We didn’t get that in Virginia Beach this time. Instead we got a lot of double talk. Some of the fault rests with police who always prefer Cop-Speak to plain English. Most of the blame should be on the uncurious local news media, who act as obedient stenographers rather than reporters when confronted with a public tragedy.

Why wasn’t the Navy summoned to help immediately? People can — and have — lived for more than an hour in a submerged car, I’ve been told this by EMS members who have been involved in several of these rescues.

And why in the world did the police deliberately create some sort of mystery around the make and model of the car? Why not put that out there so families with missing kids who are in cars that aren’t Nissan Kicks could give a sigh of relief that this wasn’t their loved one?

Republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed and Unedited.