The quiet early morning hours took a frightening turn on Monday as a speeding vehicle plunged over a famous NYC pier. Now, locals are left scratching their heads as to who was behind the wheel, and why they were out of control as they raced down the pier.

Vehicle over the pier

NYPD officers responded to the 69th Street Veterans Memorial Pier in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn shortly after 1 a.m. following reports of a car going over the edge and into the ocean. Emergency responders were called to the scene and attempted to locate the vehicle -- to no avail. With no signs of the car or its occupant more than four days later, mystery surrounds the circumstances of the crash and the identity of the driver, which has yet to be released.

NYPD officials have said this is now a recovery operation.

Eyewitness recalls speeding vehicle

Eyewitness accounts describe the car as a black sedan, possibly a BMW, that appeared to be traveling at least 60 to 70 MPH before going over the pier’s edge in a matter of seconds. The car sped through the pier’s 9/11 monument, tables, and metal stanchions before catapulting off into the water. The vehicle reportedly could be seen sinking near the pier shortly after the incident. FDNY divers were in the water a short time later, but their search efforts proved unsuccessful. Poor water conditions temporarily halted the search, but divers were able to resume their work by mid-morning on Monday.

Pier lacks protection

The vehicle was reportedly able to get onto the pier -- which is meant for pedestrians and cyclists only -- due to a missing protective barrier that had allegedly been unaccounted for since last year.

The lack of repairs or replacements alarmed some community members, and, on Tuesday, a new bollard was installed and protective fencing was reinforced around the pier.

This alarming incident comes less than one week after a deadly terror attack claimed the lives of eight innocent pedestrians near the World Trade Center Memorial in lower Manhattan.

Escalating terror threats and horrifying crimes like the motorist who intentionally drove through pedestrians in Times Square earlier this year have led to calls for change. Many residents are pushing for the installation of protective barriers near crowded areas such as Midtown Manhattan and the Veterans Memorial Pier in order to protect pedestrians and ensure public safety.

No recovery yet

There have been no further developments in the search and the identity of the individual in the car has not yet been released. The lack of results has perplexed the community and local law enforcement, with one police source describing the incident as “very mysterious.”