- one path to going viral on the internet is to be in the right place at the right time so you become the subject of many selfies.
- that's what this red jeep grand cherokee did when it got itself photogenically stranded in south carolina during hurricane dorian.
- now the jeep's raising money for hurricane victims on a publicity tour.
one place not to park a vehicle is on the beach, particularly not just before a hurricane is about to hit. that advice comes a little late for a now famous red 2016 jeep grand cherokee altitude. it was left sitting, locked, within a stone's throw from the water on myrtle beach, south carolina, just before hurricane dorian hit, and the rest is internet history.
on september 5, bystanders reported the unattended jeep to local police, who were prevented by dangerous weather conditions from removing the vehicle. eventually, the tides moved in and swamped the jeep, with waves crashing over the suv that was slowly sinking into the sand. people began to take pictures with the jeep, and soon local news outlets picked up the story.
a bagpiper named joshua kipp was famously documented playing "amazing grace" for the doomed jeep in the middle of the hurricane. despite the number of people who decided to go out and take a picture with the doomed grand cherokee in treacherous conditions, no injuries were reported. memes of the incident started to circulate, with one meteorologist on twitter suggesting that they put the jeep in a bag of rice, just as one would do for a phone that had been dropped in water. eventually the jeep got its own facebook page.
in the end, the owners of the red jeep, brittany and nick feliciano, were tracked down, and the whole story was uncovered. the felicianos lent the vehicle to a cousin who left the jeep on the beach. they then attempted to contact the cousin, but he didn’t pick up their calls or respond to their texts the day that their jeep was left stranded. eventually the jeep was removed when the weather cleared up, but there were still no answers as to why it ended up in that spot. the police are attempting to contact the cousin, but nobody has been able to reach him, at least not according to any public reports.
now, the jeep has found a higher purpose; instead of going to the junkyard, it is touring local businesses to raise money for hurricane dorian victims in the bahamas, as the region was hit particularly hard by the hurricane. so far, the jeep has raised more than $2000 on a gofundme page that unicef will distribute to hurricane victims.