tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC February 18, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
is next. i'm ama daetz. >> we appreciate your time. we'll see you again at 6:00. on this wednesday night, when will it end? record-shattering temperatures tonight. even colder from the midwest to the northeast, all the way to the south. the accidents, highways covered in sheets of ice. roofs collapsing. the rescues. the young people, the dog, pulled from the ice. also breaking tonight, the explosion at an american oil refinery. neighbors describing what felt like an earthquake. we're on the scene. the "american sniper" trial. tonight, the family of the accused killer on the stand. describing the former marine, who went from this to this. the road rage mystery takes a turn tonight. the mother teaching her daughter how to drive. authorities now offering their own version. and saving the sea lion pups. washing up on america's shoreline in record numbers. our team, right there.
good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a wednesday night. and it's hard to believe it could get any worse. but tonight, 200 million americans bracing for the coldest air in decades. 25 states under wind chill warnings and advisories. downright dangerous cold. look at this image tonight from nasa, showing the midwest, the northeast, simply frozen. and this stretches all the way south. it's been deadly in tennessee and tonight, this image from lexington, kentucky, drivers pushing cars off the highway. in massachusetts, growing concern over those collapsing roofs. and the american side of niagara falls tonight. no one fooled by the beauty. we have team coverage tonight. ginger zee with the new track, as the record-breaking cold arrives tonight. but we're going to begin here with abc's matt gutman in kentucky, at the scene of just one of many accidents across the south tonight. >> reporter: tonight, a nation bracing for record cold. in tennessee, a state of
emergency. this plane at nashville's airport, encrusted. streets so frozen, you can skate on them. on the road beneath that layer of snow the hidden danger of black ice. in nashville, a car just missing this police cruiser. it's about 10:00 a.m. and we're now leaving nashville for louisville. no sooner did we head out on busy interstate 65 than we hit this miles-long traffic jam. that big rig first skidding on black ice and then crashing into a bridge. because of the backup, these three trucks and a car piling up in a secondary crash. most southern cities not accustomed to an ice storm this dangerous. and not equipped. the city of boston with about 44 inches of annual snow, has 500 plows and salt trucks. memphis has the same number of people but only 14 trucks. across the region, the cold made for some spectacular rescues. in virginia beach, these two brothers fell through the ice in this pond and had to be rescued by a neighbor. both are okay.
in north carolina bryanna schug was sledding with her terrier, brody. he fell through the thin ice. >> i was really sad and i was afraid. >> reporter: brody got a lifeline and then he got a warm bath. take a look at these workers, david. they are still working to sweep the diesel fuel that was spilled onto the road off of it making an already slick highway even slicker. check this out. that line of cars goes on for miles. it will be hours long. a very long night for motorists here and a very cold one. david? >> all right, matt gutman who traveled from tennessee to kentucky today for us. matt, thank you. and to boston tonight. images of the misery from there. all that snow and with record-breaking cold, none of it melting. look at the commuters today. massive delays adding to the frustration there. you can only imagine. and across the region, increasing fears over collapsing rooftops. the number already staggering. just today, a shopping plaza coming down. abc's tom llamas is there. >> reporter: tonight, this
drone's eye view revealing boston's endless crippling snow. and a hidden danger, massive rooftop icicles. falling ice to blame at this hospital in quincy, splitting a gas main. 40 people evacuated. >> i just want it gone. i just want it gone. keep the winter but get rid of the snow. >> reporter: all that snow leading to at least 80 reports of roof collapses or buildings damaged. like this one today at a shopping plaza. and mass transit, a nightmare. and some train stations aren't even operating. you can see the sign here. for what it's worth, no trains. the bathrooms don't even work. everyone blaming this on the snow. but workers here tell me they haven't seen a train in four to five days. brent carr's commute usually takes 45 minutes. today, more than two hours. when streets and sidewalks look like this, just walking around requires some creativity. and check this out. they even dug out a tunnel inside of boston's commonwealth mall to make getting around a little easier. boston's plows have covered more than 285,000 miles of road. that's the distance from here to
the moon and then some. and tonight, the snow is falling again in boston. there is so much snow in the city, the boston red sox offered free tickets to anybody who would dig out five fire hydrants like this one. it's just one more obstacle for firefighters. david? >> all right, tom, you got a way to go there with that hydrant. but some tickets on the other side. let's get right to ginger. we're not kidding about this. we're not kidding about this. this sweeps all the way down to the south and it happens this hour. >> reporter: and i'm most concerned about tonight, tomorrow night and early saturday morning. let me show you. wind chill advisories, warnings, hard freeze warnings from north dakota to florida up to new york, michigan, ohio included. key west is even talking about record lows. that's how deep this cold gets. and we're talking about demolishing records. louisville will go to an actual air temperature early tomorrow morning of 13 below zero. 12 for raleigh. that cold front slips farther to the east. cleveland goes to 12 below. they've already had three record lows this week. lexington, 16 below. the next natural question, when does it end?
i've been face palming and looking at the long range models. it does not look good through the end of next friday below average everywhere that's cold now. >> we're in the middle of winter. i saw above average in the west, ginger, and that's where we're headed next. the dropping story out of california tonight. the massive explosion at an exxon mobil refinery in southern california. the images this evening of the charred aftermath. neighbors for miles describing what felt like an earthquake. tonight, investigators are on the scene, and already, analysts warning of rising gas prices. abc's cecilia vega on the scene. >> this was just a terrible explosion here at the exxon mobil refinery. >> reporter: the blast ripping through the refinery, leaving just a mound of twisted metal and twisted machinery. fire and hazmat crews racing to a blaze that melted steel, charred cars and left a layer of ash in its wake. residents and school children here in torrance advised to stay indoors. >> it felt like we had a car crash or a car hit our house. >> reporter: this morning's explosion so jolting neighbors say it felt like an earthquake.
>> we just heard this loud bang, we weren't sure. we saw the walls cave in. it was like, it flexed in. and we were like -- kind of scary. >> reporter: four workers taken to the hospital with minor injuries. >> i can see the bellowing of the smoke and the fumes coming so i just located my guys and told them that we got to go. >> reporter: tonight, exxon promising a thorough investigation of the cause. but some now predicting this will cause more pain at the pump. gas prices already on the rise, analysts say southern california will feel the brunt of this explosion, with drivers here possibly paying up to 15 cents a gallon more by next week. and that is a tough break for californians, already paying some of the highest gas prices in the country. the good news, though, this evening, despite that explosion, despite all that ash in the air, authorities say the air quality out here is safe. david? >> cecilia vega on the scene for us. thank you. and now to texas tonight, the "american sniper" trial. this evening, the family of the accused killer, on the stand. arguing the former marine, seen
here, accused of killing chris kyle, did not know what he was doing was wrong. the transformation to that day in the back of the police cruiser. tonight, his girlfriend describing his behavior in the days before the murders. abc's ryan owens in texas. >> reporter: she was closer to the killer than anyone else in the months leading up to the crime. and eddie routh's girlfriend may have done more to help his insanity defense than any witness yesterday. jennifer weed has a degree in psychology and met routh through a dating website. pwebsite the year before he killed "american sniper" chris kyle and chad littlefield. she argued with routh the morning of the murders. the night before, she says, he was paranoid and hadn't showered in weeks. "they are listening to us," he told her, and asked her to write down her thoughts so the government wouldn't hear them. weed also told the jury that two weeks before, routh held her and a roommate hostage with a decorative ninja sword and a butcher knife. she testified he told her, "people were out to get us. we needed to stay in the
apartment." routh was arrested and put back in a mental hospital. eddie routh's sister testified about her little brother's history of erratic behavior. she recounted that just after routh killed the two men, he visited her and her husband. they called 911. >> listen, my brother just came by here. he told me that he's committed a murder. >> reporter: before he left and led police on this high-speed chase, she told her brother, "i love you, but i hate your demons." they say justice is swift here in texas, and this case is moving fast. the judge says testimony could end as soon as friday, then closing arguments monday. david? >> ryan owens tonight. ryan, thanks. now, to the breaking medical headline today. new hope for women battling a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. one drug extending their lives by more than a year. so let's get right to abc's chief medical editor, dr. richard besser. and rich, you were telling me, this is a big deal. >> reporter: it is. this is significant. 1 in 5 women with breast cancer have a particularly aggressive
type called her-2 positive disease. and what they found was, adding just one drug to their treatment regimen allowed the women to live more than a year longer to almost five years from less than four years. and with minimal additional side effects. >> does this signal that we can pinpoint treatments for certain types of cancer? >> reporter: this is the way cancer treatment is going. understanding why a particular cell has become cancerous and then targeting that. this is a great example of that and it's a fantastic news for these women and their families. >> new hope in the fight against breast cancer. rich, thank you. well, now tonight to the careful dance this evening for a possible presidential hopeful, jeb bush. embracing his family, while at the same time, distancing himself. what he said today about his brother george w. bush and about iraq. and what we heard from barbara bush herself about another bush possibly running. abc's jonathan karl now. >> reporter: there's no hiding from it. that's his brother, that's his father and if jeb bush is elected president, it would be three straight republican presidents from the same family.
so today, as he gave his first big foreign policy speech, he wanted to make something clear. >> just for the record one more time i love my brother. i love my dad. i actually love my mother as well. i hope that's okay. and i admire their service to the nation and the difficult decisions that they had to make. but i'm my own man. >> reporter: as if to underline that, jeb acknowledged his brother got some things wrong. >> there were mistakes made in iraq for sure. >> reporter: but he's also had to work to get his own family on board. or, at least mom, who once said -- >> there are other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough bushes. >> reporter: via skype the other night, she said she changed her mind. >> look who i've got with me tonight. >> reporter: the bushes are now on the same page. >> there he is! >> reporter: the first president bush approving, too. >> waving there. and jon, we should point out, though, he's distancing himself from some of his brother's foreign policy, but from our current president, too. >> reporter: that's right, david. the sharpest lines in this speech were about president obama's foreign policy, which he called inconsistent and
indecisive. >> barbara bush changing her mind tonight, too. jon karl at the white house. jon, thank you. a major development tonight after an abc news investigation. one of the most common types of guardrails on highways across this country. these images show how they're supposed to work. a pickup barrelling down the road there. the guardrail absorbing the impact. but many now arguing, this is how some of them really work. piercing many vehicles instead, countless lawsuits arguing with deadly consequences. and tonight, the new tests. they wouldn't let us in with our cameras, so, we teamed up with our soon antonio station, ksat, to fly overhead. what did they see? here's abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross tonight. >> reporter: reporters covering the guardrail safety tests at this texas track were prohibited from taking any pictures. >> you got no phones or recording devices with you, correct? >> reporter: but working with our abc station in san antonio, we caught it all on tape from the air. in the first seven tests, at different heights and angles, the guardrails passed or
appeared to pass, with minimal damage to the test vehicle. but this eighth and final test, head-on at 62 miles per hour, had a much different result. a dangerous failure according to the u.s. senator who demanded these tests. >> that final video is absolutely hideously shocking. the damage done to the driver's side is supposed to not happen. >> reporter: the company says it's too soon to call it a failure. >> you cannot judge a crash test by pictures. you've got to wait until all the data is in, until it's analyzed. >> reporter: the guardrails have to pass all eight tests to be considered safe by federal standingstand ing standards, and critics say they did not. >> it locked up, and it flipped around. this is exactly what some of the crashes we're seeing in the real world look like. >> reporter: the tests come in the wake of a rash of serious and sometimes fatal accidents involving guardrails. >> i've lost my legs in a wreck. >> reporter: by design, the head of the guardrail is supposed to absorb the impact and curl the rail away. but a successful lawsuit against
the manufacturer, brought by a competitor, alleged the guardrails were modified by just an inch to save a few dollars. >> this failed. this is a classic failure. >> reporter: turning them into dangerous highway hazards. since our first report here on "world news tonight," and that lawsuit, at least 35 states have suspended the use of the controversial guardrails and now it all comes down to these tests, with the official government conclusions expected very soon. >> brian ross on this case since september. thank you. to the west tonight, and to the race against time to save hundreds of sea lions, stranded. these pups, just some of the record number found on america's shoreline. abc's brandi hitt tonight from california. >> reporter: tonight, this rescued baby sea lion is one of hundreds along the california coastline, clinging to life. the pups winding up alone on beaches, even in apartment complexes, thin and desperate for food. today, marine mammal rescuer peter wollerstein responded to one call after another. >> i actually think it was down in the rocks last night.
>> reporter: this pup found seven miles from the ocean. another on the rocks. a record-setting number of starving pups are packing marine care centers like this one. so full, they can only handle three rescues a day. turning the rest away. >> it's like a paramedic without a hospital to take a patient. >> reporter: so far this year, more than 900 have been rescued statewide. experts say disease may be to blame, or warmer than average ocean temperatures could be impacting the animal's food supply. they expect the numbers to rise faster than they can keep up, releasing healthy sea lions like these back into the ocean. brandi hitt, abc news, los angeles. >> brandi thank you. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. the road rage mystery, taking a new turn tonight. the mother teaching her daughter how to drive. targeted by another driver. well, authorities with their version of what happened that night. right after the break. and watch this. the mystery lights streaking across the sky over several states. this image over pittsburgh. nasa revealing their answer tonight.
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next tonight, the road rage mystery in las vegas. the mother shot after teaching her daughter how to drive. tonight, what authorities are now saying. here's abc's kendis gibson. >> reporter: tonight, contradictions surfacing in the so-called road rage murder of las vegas mom, tammy meyers. initially, we were told an angry encounter on the way home from teaching her daughter how to drive in this parking lot resulted in a collision with another vehicle and the suspect following them home, opening fire on meyers in her driveway. but now, the story's changing. take a look at this missing strip on tammy meyers' car. her son tells me that's a result of the road rage accident that led to her death. now, police are saying, there was no accident. >> we do not believe that there was any type of collision. >> reporter: another contradiction about being followed home. listen to what one of meyers' sons told me two days ago.
your sister went in there and told him what? >> that someone's following my mom. and then my brother came out, grabbed his gun and came out and saw he saw was this car coming down real fast. >> reporter: police now saying the mother and daughter drove home, and then the mother and son, armed with a gun, went back out in search of the other car. >> her 22-year-old son came out of the house, got into the car, he was armed with a firearm. >> reporter: police say the meyers' found that car. they're not sure exactly what happened next but both cars end up back at the house, where gunfire was exchanged and tammy miers was shot dead. kendis gibson abc news, las vegas. and when we come back here tonight, the fiery light streaking across the night sky. nasa now weighing in here tonight. the "wheel of fortune" stunner. just one letter. we ask the contestant, how did he get this right? . i had these very burning ... needle-like sensations. i knew i needed to see a doctor. my doctor said "let's try lyrica."
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mere 45,000 miles an hour. we're going to turn now to the contestant on "wheel of fortune" who stunned even pat sajak. the category, event. watch this. just one letter revealed. take a listen. >> championship match. >> yeah, that's right. >> unbelievable. how did he do it? well we called him up in hawaii, where he lives. let me get this straight. one letter? >> one letter. >> i mean what were you thinking? all you had was a "t." >> i had about three possibilities i thought it might have been. >> well we're glad you went with the first option. >> me, too. so am i. >> just one letter. and he lives in hawaii. a double winner. when we come back here tonight, we took you behind the scenes last night. tonight, dan harris is back. one-on-one with the westminster winner.
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well, as they say, there can only be one top dog. so, tonight, dan harris with the winner. so many cheering for one beauty of a beagle. >> reporter: today in new york, the spectacle of a beagle being trailed by a media scrum to the top of the empire state building. >> miss p! >> reporter: the dog calmly scanned the crowd for snacks. >> miss p! >> reporter: and then showed up at a packed press conference where she was fed steak. >> the beagle! >> oh! >> reporter: last night, miss p won best in show at the westminster kennel club dog show. she beat out lots of canines with fancy hair cuts, striking a blow as one writer put it, for
normal dog. today, aside from the steak, she also got to meet world famous fashion designer michael kors. >> i have cats. >> reporter: this is officially the weirdest news conference i've ever been to. in a good way. hi. >> she is a princess. she's a movie star. she's demanding. she just thinks she's -- [ barks ] >> reporter: demanding right now. >> yep. >> reporter: best in show maybe not best in breath. what's next for the champ? she's retiring. it's time to go have puppies. you are a good-looking girl. dan harris, abc news, new york. >> we love it when the beagle wins. this apartment complex once housed a bloggo. >> identity of an east bay murder victim. he wanted to be a detective but wound up unintended target of a killer. >> one of california's biggest
oil refineries rocked by a huge explosion. what affect will it have on high gas prices? >> and a unique history of a living living days gone by. >> there is a lot of money in this industry. >> they call them apartment massage parlors and tonight a woman running self of them turned herself in. >> police arrested the madam who ran a prostitution ring. she had girls working out of high-priced apartments. laura anthony is live with why she likely won't serve jail time. laura? >> it's part of a deal by
authorities, they say maple gold was on the run for some of the time out of the country and off the grid for some of it. >> they got into this business on their own free will. >> mes say this woman is at the center of a major sex trafficking ring in the bay area. >> there is a lot of money to be made you can get paid up to $300 an hour to get with one of the prostitutes. >> police say she had a girl services johns just a week from the concord police department. in downtown oakland, two girls worked out of this building. another expensive apartment complex on third street. and in hayward, this