tv Caught on Camera MSNBC February 12, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
a man trapped in a burning car. >> i didn't know if the engine itself was going to explode. >> crashing to earth in a helicopter. >> i thought he perished, he died. >> clinging for life to a tiny tree. >> all of us were shocked to see just how many people were in peril. >> flipped upside down on the runway. >> i was terrified there was going to be fuel out there, and fire. >> sent flying by a truck. >> it knocked me out of the street into the curb. >> thrown from a moped. >> i just hit the ground before i knew it. >> plummeting down a rocky canyon. >> i thought that i was going to die, for sure. >> but a miracle or a lifeline, or a good samaritan appears -- >> i just yelled out help me, help me out. >> and they make it out alive.
"caught on camera, cheating death." hello. i'm contessa brewer. welcome to "caught on camera." we all fear it, that one deadly moment of inattention, the simple but potentially fatal miscalculation, the sudden bolt from the blue we are helpless to avoid. in an instant, everything changes. but in the stories you will see this hour, situations that look like certain death end with a miraculous escape, or amazing rescue. in our first story, a rock climber nervously begins his first 300 foot rappel while his friend videotapes the achievement.
then something goes horribly wrong. in a utah canyon, a man rappels down a towering cliff but loses control and falls 100 feet to the bottom. >> i thought for sure that my life was coming to an end. >> hey, you okay? >> in the summer of 2009, eric shrever and david cardona are hiking through utah's zion national park. they're both experienced canyoneers, skilled at getting through canyons by any means possible. that includes climbing, rappeling or even swimming. >> i've always loved the outdoors. i've been an avid hiker. but this canyoneering sport, it takes hiking to a whole new level, and i started dabbling in that about three years ago. >> i've been doing canyoneering for about a year with eric. >> this time, david is also going to be a cameraman. >> we thought it would be great to have it on camera and we could show other people what we do.
>> but what they're about to record is their worst nightmare. eric is planning to rappel 300 feet into the beautiful but dangerous englesteed canyon. >> you can't really see the bottom of it. it kind of blows your mind away, just the scenery of it. >> they choose a spot and david helps eric set up for the rappel. >> i quickly noticed how tall, how far 300 feet is. i was very, very nervous. there are all sorts of factors that can lead to death and injury, as you rappel. >> they seem to have all the equipment. except for a helmet, a key piece of safety gear for climbing and rappeling. david tapes as eric sets up for the rappel, checking everything twice. >> david grabbed the camera and tried to document the first rappel and the canyon was set up perfect, because it was in a little horseshoe shape, so he could hike to the other side of the canyon. >> all right, man. you are going to be going first.
>> david teases his friend as he hesitates at the edge of the cliff. >> the moment we've been waiting for. >> i'm a little nervous. >> it's a big drop. you're on the right one, right? >> yeah, that's right. i checked it. >> all right, man. >> 300 feet! >> it's almost immediately apparent there's reason for his caution. >> when he started rappeling, i just noticed it wasn't that smooth. >> eric knows everything is not okay, but he still thinks he can control it. >> the rope's feeding way too fast through the descending device, and so i even get a little bit more nervous. >> and something else is wrong with the rope. >> the rope was underneath him, starting to get tangled up and those knots happen on occasion, so he would stop, adjust it. >> i'm fighting for control, and
usually, on a normal controlled descent, they can stop me at will, i can hang out on the side of the ledge if i want to. here, i'm doing everything i can to keep myself from falling. >> eric has to undo the knots. fortunately, he's able to find a tiny ledge to brace himself. >> nice. >> he was able to kind of maneuver his way over to it, then totally adjust the rope. >> i thought that with only 100 feet left, i could basically force my hand to, you know, control my descent. >> but at this point, everything goes from bad to horrifying. >> now everything's out of control and i slam from one side of the canyon to the next. >> as eric falls, his life
really does flash before his eyes. >> my thoughts go to my life, what i had accomplished, what i had done, my thoughts go to my family, you know, thinking i shouldn't see them again. >> hey, you okay? >> and he's feeling a searing pain. >> what caught my attention was the sound of the rope. >> at this point, i can feel the burns on my hands as i'm trying to stop. i hit the side of the wall with the back of my head right here, and i believe that that knocked me out. >> you hear one hit, you hear the second hit and then you hear the final thump. in my mind, i'm just wondering what just went on, what happened. >> david scrambles to the canyon's edge and peers down. >> i got into kind of panic mode. >> hey, you okay? >> i'm like is he dead?
because he's not responding. >> at the bottom of the wall of rock, eric comes to. >> i looked at my hands, saw a bloody mess, checked myself out, immediately stood up. >> and it dawns on him, amazingly, he's still alive. >> i knew i had just been part of a miracle. modern day miracle caught on tape. >> david now has to rappel to his friend in the canyon below. >> i asked him what happened, you okay. he just shows me his hands and his hands were just all blistery, all meaty. >> i knew i had just survived a fall that i should not have survived. >> and now there's only one way out of the canyon. >> i'm a little shocked still, but we're carrying on. >> he's a trouper. >> it was another ten hours out of there, ten more rappels, more swimming to get out at this point. such a miracle that we were able
to finish this hike. >> as he hobbles through the canyon, eric keeps thinking of how differently this story might have ended. he especially thinks of his children and his wife, sunny. >> she was pregnant at the time. my wife was two weeks from giving birth to my baby boy. i shouldn't even have a relationship with him. >> despite this brush with disaster, eric is still rappeling with one big change in technique. >> i thought i was experienced enough to do this without a helmet, but it will never happen again. i'll never, ever step off the side of a cliff without a helmet on. >> coming up -- good samaritans risk their lives to help a driver trapped in flames. >> i can hear him screaming help, help, help, i need help, he's going to burn. [ female announcer ] the best things in life are the real things.
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a vintage car is rear-ended and explodes in flames. >> it just made a big ball of fire. i never seen anything like that in my life. >> the driver is trapped behind the wheel. >> it just exploded and the flames came up and i knew he was in trouble. >> a peaceful august sunday in sherman oaks, california. at 9:30 a.m., steve satello, a professional chauffeur, is on his way to work. at the corner of burbank boulevard and vesper avenue, he notices a beauty stopped at the light ahead of him. a 1932 ford victoria like this one. >> whoever owned that car put a lot of money into it because it looked really nice.
>> he pulls up to take a closer look, just as a car races past him in the other lane. >> the car that was next to me was just not slowing down, and hit the back of this car without braking, and hit it really hard, and it just exploded and caused a big ball of fire. >> amazingly, the occupants of the car that rear-ended the vintage ford are only slightly injured, but the driver of the antique car is out cold and trapped in flames. >> i figured he was going to probably be unconscious or hurt pretty badly, so i immediately parked and got out and ran towards his car. >> the force of the crash has pushed the burning car all the way through the intersection. when steve reaches the car, he realizes the situation is worse than he thought. >> i think upon impact, his seat reclined back. i immediately tried to open the door from the outside. it didn't budge. i was trying to open -- open it from the inside, it didn't open. >> in his apartment near the intersection, patrick murray has
heard an explosion. >> i immediately came over to the balcony where i saw a lot of black smoke. i saw the vehicle on fire. i grabbed a camera to videotape it. >> at the same time, chris oxley is heading toward the intersection with his son in the car, on the way to a baseball game. >> we saw a big fireball in front of us, then smoke rising from the fireball. we had a mushroom cloud on top of that probably went two to three stories up. the whole road was on fire. my son was terrified about it, because he was asking me dad, do we have to go towards this, this is scaring me. >> but he hears steve shouting for help. so chris stops the car and jumps out, telling his son to stay in the car. >> somebody's life, you know, was probably in danger. >> i thought it was going to blow up so i was trying to get him out and get him as far away from the car as we could. >> the inside of the car was starting now to catch on fire, and we had trouble pulling the person out of the car. >> as they struggled, other good
samaritans appear. >> somebody with an extinguisher, fire extinguisher, came and sprayed a little bit on the inside. >> but the heat is intense. >> i could feel the heat all the way from here, and obviously, i'm across the street. >> and they still can't open the door. >> there was someone else who came up who said well, let's try to get him out the back window, and he had some type of crowbar or something, and then broke out the back window. >> finally, chris can reach in and open the jammed front door. but the fire inside the car is getting closer to the trapped driver, and to them. >> i was scared, to be honest with you, thinking it was going to blow up. >> my initial thought was that this guy's not going to make it. >> what's pinning the driver in the car? chris and another good samaritan fumble around in the smoke. >> found a seat belt, and the problem was, it was like an airplane style seat belt since it was such an old car. i just found it on the feel, feeling with my fingers and feeling underneath the bottom of the seat until i hit what i felt was a seat belt.
then we pulled him away from the car, laid him down on the ground, i braced his neck. >> i thought i was videotaping somebody's last moments of life. i don't know how someone could survive that type of accident. >> but then, a miracle. the driver is breathing. >> i could see his chest going up and down, his stomach, so i'm like okay, thank god he's breathing. >> we were really happy to see him open his eyes and one of his first questions was how's my car. at the time he couldn't see his car. i was telling him don't worry about your car, you're alive. >> the car is almost completely consumed, except for the seat where the driver had been trapped. >> the only part of that car that wasn't burning or didn't get burnt was that driver's side door. that was it. >> to the rescuers, it had seemed an eternity, but in reality, only two minutes had passed. >> the fire department probably got there probably within a couple minutes after we actually
had him out, and they came and put the fire out of the car. >> the paramedic put him on a gurney, lifted him up and he told me thank you, when i said are you going to be okay, he said yes, thank you. i basically left after that. >> the good samaritans, their job done, melt away. were it not for patrick murray's video, they might never have been identified. >> the police officer asked if he could use the video footage to help, you know, find the rescuers. >> four of the five men, including david taylor and fernando martinez, have now been identified as the heroes who helped save the life of robert edlefson. he will recover completely. the car, unfortunately, was a total loss. despite the risks they took, both sartello and oxley say they would do it again. >> i just don't know, you know, how close i was to death. it affected someone else's life. that made it all worth it right
there. >> coming up -- a vintage plane flips upside down. >> my first thought was just shock. just couldn't believe it. capital one's new cash rewards card gives you a 50% annual bonus! so you earn 50% more cash. according to research, everybody likes more cash. well, almost everybody... ♪ would you like 50% more cash? no! but it's more money. [ male announcer ] the new capital one cash rewards card. the card for people who want 50% more cash. what's in your wallet? woah! [ giggles ]
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a vintage plane lands at washington international airport, and flips upside down. caught on two cameras. >> i was just shocked. i couldn't figure out why that would happen. >> in june 2010, ashley halsey iii, transportation reporter for the washington post, is invited by a friend to take a ride on a vintage plane. >> he said we're going to be flying steermans into national airport, would you like to be on one. i said yes, even though i didn't know what a steerman was. >> the steerman, he learns, is a treasured world war ii biplane. >> it was used to train first-time pilots. a lot of them are flown by barnstorming pilots.
they are revered by those pilots the way some people love a model t or the little deuce coupe. they're restored, they're cared for. >> the steerman ashley is to ride in is owned by michael trushell, who performs with the flying circus in northern virginia. >> we're going to simulate a strafing and bombing run. >> we replicated an act that was done in the '30s and '40s. >> six shots, down comes the bomb. yes! >> i fly there just for fun. it's my excuse to go out on sundays and fly in circles. the beginning of the show, we do formation flying. we'll do comedy acts. i did what's called a balloon shoot. >> he is to fly the steerman in an event promoting a 3-d film on flying. ashley halsey decides this is the perfect time to try out a camera he's just bought. >> the camera was new to me.
i played with it so that i knew how to start it and stop it with relative confidence. >> nothing to worry about. we're just going to go up in a plane. and here's the plane. >> on june 8th, halsey and trushell meet and take off from an airport south of washington, d.c. >> and away we go. >> we were flying into national airport with reporters and dignitaries to attend the premiere of the movie at the smithsonian. >> eight steermans head up the potomac as ashley videotapes all the way. >> it was a beautiful day. it couldn't have been a better day to fly. it was absolutely gorgeous. just clear, just cool enough. >> a biplane has an open cockpit so passenger and pilot are exposed to all the elements. >> a small plane is more subject to wind, it's a little bit more of a bumpy ride but in no way a frightening one. >> waiting for them at national airport, a large and prestigious audience. >> an elite group of air
afficianado. they were having a buffet brunch and they were all going to come out and see these really cute, and they are cute, small planes buzz in and land one by one. >> the pilots have a showy landing planned. >> we were going to do overhead break. we were supposed to fly over the runway at altitude, then one by one, we would circle and land which would give us separation. >> but ashley overhears some ominous cross-talk. >> there was conversation about crosswinds. i overheard between the pilots and they said can we switch to a different runway. the air traffic controller said absolutely, let's switch to that runway. >> the plane in front of me, he landed long to the left. i always land midway on the right. then david brown behind me, he was to land short on the left-hand side. which went well. >> and then we touched. and the next thing i know, i was upside down.
>> the plane could explode at any moment. >> the fuel tank in this airplane is located in the top wing. we flipped over on to the top wing. my first thought was a ruptured fuel tank and that we had to get away from the airplane. >> the wrong move now could prove fatal. >> if you just undo your straps, you will fall out, you could break your neck. it's a hazard. a lot of people survive crashes, then hurt themselves in just getting out of the airplane. >> you okay? >> yep. >> mike, being the consummate pro pilot, dropped out of his harness and helped me drop out of the cockpit. >> with his camera still rolling, ashley scrambles free. >> the next thing we heard were sirens. >> you guys okay? >> we're fine, thank you. >> as emergency vehicles race toward the plane, ashley and mike realize the plane itself has saved their lives. >> the plane was resting on its upper wing, upside down.
took a heck of an impact because we flipped over hard. >> the steerman is one tough little plane. >> it was built for training. they knew they were going to be abused. they knew people were going to be flipping them over and it was just a really well designed airplane. >> in hindsight, mike realizes what's happened is also due to a feature of his vintage plane. its finicky brakes. >> it's notorious to be a tough airplane to land. when i landed in fighting the wind, it was gusty. i touched down on the main wheels. the brakes on my plane were the original drum brakes. you ever had original drum brakes, they stick.
if you look at the videos, you see the smoke coming out from the tires. it's obvious, it's a brake lockup. >> for ashley, this video may prove to be the most widely distributed story of his career in journalism. >> it was a camera i owned for less than 12 hours, and it's been picked up all around the world. >> while the video goes viral, the steerman goes to the repair shop. >> airplanes can get fixed. runways can get fixed. people don't get fixed that easy. >> whoa! >> there's a lot of very fortunate things happened that day. the most fortunate thing is nobody got hurt. >> coming up -- rafters are stranded in an icy raging river. ♪ this is why we at nissan built a car inspired by zero. because zero is worth everything. the zero gas, 100% electric nissan leaf. innovation for the planet. innovation for all.
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today. no word on her condition. riots in athens as the government sroefted on new austerity measures. now back to "caught on camera." welcome back to "caught on camera." i'm contessa brewer. on a warm summer day, a rafting trip nearly turns fatal when beginners encounter a river, wild and swollen with snow melt. the rescue that follows is a high wire act and it's caught on not just one, but two cameras. novice rafters get the ride of a lifetime, and wind up cheating death. >> it was shocking to see the peril that these people were in. >> california's kearn river is a scenic, natural wonder and a popular play ground. >> one of the steepest rivers in the united states and it flows really fast. >> but the river has a dark side as well. one that keeps the rescue team at the kearn county sheriff's office busy.
>> people go in and swim or fall in and they get tired fighting the current, and they drown. >> the boulders that are just under water level, they're the size of a volkswagen. that's usually what people smash into. we've had over 250 actual drownings in the kearn river since they started keeping stats. >> the river's nickname is the killer kearn. >> on a warm june day in 2010, two friends, mike mccave and ed flickimer, decided to try rafting for the first time. with a group of friends, two rafts and two guides, they head for the river. when they get there, mike wonders if they have made a mistake. >> the river was flowing at a high rate of speed. it was at a very high level but i didn't really know what to compare it with. >> despite the boiling current, the group launches their boats. within moments, everything goes wrong.
>> we saw that tree coming right in front of us and then we hit it head-on. there was nothing that could be done to stay in that boat. >> i was in the current and things happened so fast, that i don't remember exactly the sequence of things. but i grabbed on to that tree. >> grateful to be alive, mike clambers into the tree and considers his options. >> the current was so strong that i couldn't even move a couple of yards upstream. it was very dangerous and i just stayed where i was. >> further down the river, ed has found something to hang on to. >> i grabbed on to that tree and pulled myself up. i was holding on for dear life.
>> one of the guides of their expedition has also climbed out on to the log with ed. they are shocked at how cold that water is. >> i realized that i could risk suffering hypothermia if i got either of my legs in the water too long. >> fortunately, their plight has been noticed. >> i saw people gathering on the shore, they were looking and i'm sure that they had called the rescue team. >> two teams are called. the ground rescue volunteers and at the kearn county sheriff's office, the air support team of deputies mcadoo and nelson. >> we got our gear together that we needed to conduct the hoist rescue, pulled the helicopter out, took off and started heading out there. >> as we were going out there, the first ground units arrived on scene and actually confirmed that they had six people stuck in three different trees. >> when they reached the scene, mcadoo and nelson are surprised at how swollen the river is. >> stuff that's usually dry land was underwater. >> it was shocking to see the peril that these people were in.
>> the ground team rescues two people using boats, but they can't reach mike or ed, marooned in the trees. >> that's when they asked for us to go ahead and conduct a hoist rescue. >> the rafters have been in the water for more than an hour, and are growing dangerously chilled. how much longer can they hold on? >> i was starting to feel a bit frostbitten. >> maneuvering a rescue hoist into the trees is no easy feat. as he drops down, one big risk is jason nelson will get tangled in the trees himself. slowly, patiently, deputy nelson works his way toward mccabe. >> it looks like it happens pretty quick. it was probably another good 20, 30 minutes just to get him. >> mccabe is buffeted from the wind of the helicopter. just as nelson reaches mccabe, the exhausted rafter almost lets go. >> he slipped and kind of swung around to the opposite side of the tree. i was thinking he's about to go down river.
we need to get him out pretty quick. >> the next trick, getting mccabe into the harness so he can be lifted safely. >> i was having difficulty knowing how to grab on to the harness and make sure i was -- and letting him know that. he tried about three times. >> you're basically hovering three or four feet off the ground, trying to stay in one spot, trying to hold on, trying not to knock him out and get this thing around his head, where eventually he's going to have to let go with both hands to get it up underneath his armpits and around him. >> this is the most dangerous moment of the whole rescue. if mccabe loses his footing now, it could be fatal. >> he would have been swept down river. whether he survived or not, i don't know. >> but nelson's timing is perfect. >> i was able to get this drop around him and gave the signal. that's when we came up through the tree, and we were about 25 feet up above the river, just
enough to clear those trees. >> mccabe is so happy to be out of the tree, he almost loses his fear of heights. >> i remember dangling there and saying kind of fun being up here, kind of. >> once mccabe is on the bank, the rescuers turn their attention to ed. they position the chopper and this time, deputy don mcadoo makes the drop. by now, he has an additional challenge to deal with. >> my pilot was a little bit fatigued. my systems operator, kevin, who is standing on the skid running the hoist and basically putting us into position, he's been at it for about an hour. the winds have really kicked up. >> the chopper's whirling blades add to the turbulence. >> wow. it is pretty scary in itself, that wind that's also being created. >> i'm like a yo-yo. i'm at the mercy of my systems operator who is lowering and raising the cable and also the helicopter pilot who has to hold that helicopter in steady position in those winds. >> all the time the rescue's going on, other rafters keep whooshing merrily by. >> you see these people kayaking by, rafting by, and they appear oblivious to what's going on.
>> mcadoo is worried. time may be running out for the rafters. >> had these people lost consciousness, fallen off into the river, we would have had a much more perilous mission that we might not have been able to save them. >> finally, mcadoo reaches ed and deftly whips the harness over his head. >> he got it around me just really quickly, then the helicopter maneuvered me toward the shore. >> a grateful ed rejoins his fellow rafters as deputy mcadoo goes back to lift the other man off the log. >> it was quite an amazing feat to have walked away with as limited an injury that i had. >> both men are aware of how close they came to becoming one more dismal notch on the belt of the killer kearn. >> you never think you're going to be a statistic. you think that's only going to happen to someone else. it was a close call. >> it's not a disneyland ride. if you fall in the river, there are no guarantees that you will live at the end of it. >> coming up -- a football player has a miraculous save. >> kind of like did that just really happen? >> and a young rapper slam dances with an ice cream truck. >> it had to knock me at least ten feet.
a football player is knocked off his moped by a truck, and slammed to the street. >> i got hit, it's like, you know, things were kind of spinning, like i was just flying through the air. >> iowa city resident josh keppel is a center lineman with the iowa hawkeyes. he's used to taking body blows. but not like the one he's about to get on his moped. >> i've been riding a moped for like six years, probably. it was definitely my primary mode of transportation. >> on august 30th, 2010, josh is on his way to work out, lift some weights. >> it was like a nice sunny
morning. i was just wearing shorts. it was a little chilly so i actually threw a sweatshirt on which i think was good. >> what he's not wearing is a helmet and in iowa, it's not required. >> it's just nice to get out and let your hair blow in the wind. >> today at the intersection of burlington and gilbert, there's a truck headed straight toward him, and josh thinks nothing of it at first. >> we both had green lights. i was probably going 25 or 30 miles an hour. just going through the intersection. >> what josh doesn't know is that an approaching police car is recording the whole thing. >> officer eric lippold was proceeding towards us or southbound on gilbert street. the pickup turned directly in front of josh. josh, on his scooter, impacted the right front corner area of the pickup, and josh was thrown from his scooter. >> the moped is knocked out from under him and josh is flying headlong. >> it was last second, i just saw it right as he hit me. i remember just seeing the truck
there, and i think i kind of braced myself. i didn't even hit the brakes. i didn't have time to. >> as he watches the crash in horror, the police officer turns on his camera and automatically saves the previous 30 seconds of video. >> because of the way our system is set up, it's recording constantly, it just doesn't save it until it's turned on and then we have a 30-second capture. so everything that occurred 30 seconds prior was actually saved and that 30 seconds caught the accident. >> as josh is hurled through the air, one flip flop goes flying in another direction. it's hard to believe that josh hasn't been badly injured, but he picks up his cell phone and incredibly, starts to stand up. >> i think adrenaline and shock had kind of set in. >> josh actually starts to walk away, but he's stopped by a motorcyclist. >> he insisted i sit down and lay back and wait for medics to get there. >> soon, multiple officers and an ambulance are on the scene,
but josh has a call of his own to make, to his father, tom. >> i just said i've been in an accident. >> it never crossed my mind that he was in a life-threatening situation, but then when you see him on a stretcher and obviously, there was some blood on his face, i was extremely concerned. >> josh is checked out and released at the hospital. he's bruised but has no major injuries. >> there's no concussion, no broken bones, no stitches. i didn't even really have like whiplash the next day or anything. >> it's not until they go to the police station the next day and see the video that they realize how close a call josh had. >> to think that he was really so close to death. it's just like someone was looking out for him. >> both josh and his father attribute his survival in part to reflexes developed in football. >> he's accustomed to getting hit five or six days a week, so he obviously knows how to get hit, he knows how to tuck his head and roll.
his conditioning and training saved his life. in this particular incident, no question. >> this appears to be one of those rare occasions when the absence of a helmet isn't harmful. josh reassures the distraught truck driver he is unhurt. later, the driver pleads guilty to the charge of failure to yield. >> i just let him know i was fine, not to worry about it. >> what will remain with josh is gratitude for his amazing good fortune. >> i'm definitely lucky to be here. i'm definitely lucky to have made it out. >> diamonds in my ear. >> an aspiring performer makes an unexpected video debut with a performance that's truly a hit.
>> i got this truck coming at me and i couldn't even dodge it. it was that quick. >> in most "caught on camera" stories, the camera plays a passive role but this time, the camera serves as an unwitting instigator for a young man who finds it hard to resist any opportunity to perform. >> man, it's like a high that no drug can, you know, compete with. ♪ i will make it rain a hurricane katrina ♪ >> kendrick green loves to rap and hopes to make it his career. >> i do hip-hop. i write r & b music. i'm just a versatile artist. i mean, you hand me the beat and i can do it. i rap about life. >> on august 25th, 2009, in aurora, illinois, kendrick and some friends are just finishing
up a landscaping job when he's tempted to do a little routine for a friend's camera. >> i was showing the other workers my music, my song. i was telling him i had a dance for it. one of the guys had a camera. just kind of goofing around, i was like hey, why don't you record me dancing to this song. >> it's where kendrick decides to dance that's the problem. >> put the music on and walked out to the street and you know, started doing my dance. i could have just easily danced on the sidewalk, but the street made it like risky, you know. it made it like he's stupid. >> playing to the camera and ignoring the cars, kendrick gets into his groove. >> get the shoulders going, you know, get the shoulders going to the beat and you cross your arms and you just, you know, you're bopping like this. >> kendrick's big mistake? he thinks the oncoming traffic has plenty of time to avoid him. >> i definitely felt like i was visible to the traffic on my side of the street. i mean, it was broad daylight
and big black guy, you know, black shirt, you know, dancing in the street. so i mean, who misses that? >> he isn't reckoning on the vehicle with no time to stop or room to swerve. this ice cream truck. >> at the last minute when i seen the guy coming, [ bleep ] i didn't think he was going to hit me. if you see in the video, i kind of put my arm out and it wasn't that i was, you know, hercules and i'm trying to stop the truck. it was more of a reflex but it threw me. it knocked me out of the street and into the curb. >> police are called and an ambulance arrives. the officer considers charging kendrick but then takes pity on him. >> the cop was like you know what, i'm not going to even charge you with anything because you suffered enough. >> at the hospital, the reality sinks in. his wrist is broken, but it could have been so much worse. >> if i were hit head-on directly in the middle of this truck, i probably wouldn't be sitting here today.
>> a year later, kendrick works on his music and contemplates the vagaries of modern fame that made his friend's video a viral internet sensation. >> i didn't expect to be all over like that and people watch it like that. i can look back and laugh because i know i won't do it again. i would never do it again. >> from now on, his resolve is firm. no more dancing in the street. >> oh, yeah. i'm sticking, you know, to the stage. i'm going to stay in my lane. >> coming up, in the middle of an air show, a helicopter slams into the ground. >> we all thought he was killed at that instant. [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if you took the top down on a crossover? if there were buttons for this? wouldn't it be cool if your car could handle the kids...
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british royal air force pilot, is a legendary flyer who has logged thousands of hours aloft. >> i'm up to 14,000 flying hours. i've flown 124 different types of airplanes which includes 34 helicopters. >> his aeronautic skills are on display in numerous feature films. >> i've done, i don't know, probably a couple dozen feature films. i did "spy who loved me," "blackhawk down." >> and he serves as a flight safety expert. >> my job is to go around to shows and make certain they are safe, and watch the other pilots. >> what he's most famous for is helicopter aerobatic flying. since 1986, dennis has been a leading competitor, winning the world championship in 1992. >> one of the cups behind me is for the first place. >> dennis' skills are on display at an air show in utah in june of 2008, and one person eager to see it, and videotape it, is tina tyler, an american gyrocopter pilot. >> i packed up my gyro and headed to utah with my camera in hand. >> for dennis, there's a setback at the beginning of the event. the helicopter is unfamiliar and it's heavier than he's used to. >> i normally fly with ten
gallons on board, which weighs 80 pounds, 72, in fact, and i had 30 on board, three times the weight. >> as dennis takes off, he's aware of another element that will have a major impact on his performance. >> the air park had two things going for it. it was high and it was hot, 96 degrees that day. >> both those factors spelled danger for a pilot. >> in utah, it's about 5,000 feet elevation and it was a warm day that day. >> this creates a condition called high density altitude, which actually means hotter, thinner air, giving the pilot less lift and less power. >> i had to take certain steps, make certain changes to my routine. >> dennis calculates the changes he'll make and at first, everything goes smoothly. >> the standard routine commences with pirouette, rotating the helicopter. >> i got the camera out to take footage of his performance.
i was excited about capturing it on camera. >> this creates a condition called high density altitude, which actually means hotter, thinner air, giving the pilot less lift and less power. >> i had to take certain steps, make certain changes to my routine. >> dennis calculates the changes he'll make and at first, everything goes smoothly. >> the standard routine commences with pirouette, rotating the helicopter. >> i got the camera out to take footage of his performance. i was excited about capturing it on camera. >> i turned to 300 feet, then back flip away from the crowd to get distance from the crowd to commence the run-in for the opening maneuver, which is the loop. >> so far, the impressive routine seems flawless. everything looked normal. >> it's very rare to see a helicopter pilot be able to do maneuvers like that. >> i never thought it was going wrong. >> but then, coming out of the loop, a shocking event. >> when he was doing his wing over and he was coming straight to the ground, i'm thinking at
that point i hope he can pull out of this. >> i was already aligning the machine for the next maneuver. it just struck the ground. >> son of a [ bleep ]. >> call 911! >> i thought that was it. he was gone. >> but dennis is not dead. merely stunned. how did he get here? >> the aircraft broke up about me and the glass shattered and i was in the desert dust. >> everybody was in shock. i mean, it was a moment of total oh, my god, what do we do. >> dennis is not out of danger. he struggles to get free of the wreckage before dripping fuel can ignite the helicopter. >> i'm going to die if i don't get out of this quickly, if it catches on fire. >> he quickly shuts off the fuel lines, then amazingly, he crawls out of the chopper, shaken but only slightly hurt.
>> he actually wasn't even hurt that bad. a few cuts on the face and couple of teeth knocked out, i understand. >> the chopper has not fared as well. >> the helicopter was totaled, completely totaled. unusable. >> within an hour, a rueful dennis is not just walking and talking, he's giving the news conference he had always hoped to avoid. dennis, the safety evaluator, has to assess his own performance and realizes where he had gone wrong. he had forgotten one adjustment to his program and had fallen victim to the high density altitude at the airfield that day. >> as soon as i started the maneuver, i thought this helicopter is performing fairly normally so i ran in at the normal height, at the normal speed. >> he was too low and too slow for this place and time. >> there wasn't sufficient air space to recover. at that density. on a cold day in england, it would have been more than add
date. >> in the 50 years prior to his crash, at least ten american and european pilots died doing this maneuver in air shows. so dennis' survival is astounding. >> i think it's pretty miraculous that he walked away from this crash. how hard he hit that ground. >> i wish i was religious but if there was a god, it's got to be him. >> dennis' recovery is so quick, he's able to get back into the game, performing at another world competition later that same year. >> that's where i got fourth this time. still got in there. >> as these cameras have shown us, a brush with death could be closer than most of us would like to think. it can come to those who court it and those who take every precaution to avoid it. it visits the novice and the world class champion. but if you're lucky enough to cheat death, it's not such a bad thing if your little miracle is caught on camera for all to see. i'm contessa brewer. that's all for this edition of "caught on camera."