tv Caught on Camera MSNBC February 28, 2015 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
a race car driver hits the wall. >> he's out! >> he's out. >> a kite boarder slams into steel poles. >> it felt like i got hit by a truck. >> motorcycle riders scrape the street. >> whoa! >> superathletes push the limits. >> i just remember hitting the horse. >> oh, man! >> and a huge amount of pain. >> daredevils go for broke.
>> i practically almost died jumping off this bridge. >> and a family goes over the edge. >> oh, my god. my god. caught on camera -- thrills and spills." thrillseekers have so many ways to pump up the adrenaline. racing cars, four wheeling through canyons, parachuting from bridges, you name it and the daring will try it. but when something goes wrong, the result can be terrible. is a near fatal injury worth the high? watch and you'll see that for some folks, risk is its own reward. >> in perris, california, sprint car racer kevin white takes a turn for the worse. his car flips over and launches him 25 feet in the air, landing him precariously on this wire fence.
>> the start of the accident was very common. the end of the accident was very, very shocking. >> photographer mike truex has been shooting sprint car racing from his perch up on the scoreboard for more than 15 years. passionate about the sport, mike has intimate knowledge of the racing experience. >> 80 miles an hour around the top of the racetrack, mud flying, driver's arms flailing. it's insane. >> and if sprint car racing is insane from mike's vantage point, imagine how insane it is to drive. >> just think of the scariest thing you've ever done ever in your life, holding on for dear life, and it almost takes somebody a little crazy to do these, to drive these things. >> number 4 driver tony jones has sprint car racing in his blood. his father was also a driver, and during the course of his 16
years of professional racing, tony's had his share of crashes. >> one of my worst crashes, the car is a little too tight, you know, flipped pretty good, hit the cage on the ground, and next thing you know i woke up in a c.a.t. scan. you don't know if you're in a coffin or talking to god or what's really going on. >> there are many challenges in this sport and the potential for danger is great. sprint car racing is done on dirt tracks which makes it very different from pavement racing. track owners go to great lengths to keep the track moist and sticky to enable drivers the signature sprint car style called a slide job. >> a slide job is when you start at the bottom, you know, going into the turn and end up in the top of the next turn. some guys don't really know how to pull off slide jobs. some guys just know how to drive
into the side of your car and think it's a slide job. that's when fistfights start sometimes. >> drivers and their crews go through painstaking efforts to set their cars up to handle slide jobs efficiently based on track conditions, and if any of their calculations are off, bad stuff happens. >> kevin did what we call a bicycle where the car actually hooked up and it tipped forward on two wheels. the car nosed over and he hooked the right front tire and that catapulted the car into a series of end-over-end flips. >> it's not uncommon for these cars to tip or even to flip, but bicycling is rare. >> the interesting thing about the crash is that when kevin hit the k-rail, which is this cement wall behind me, i suspect that probably one of his tires kind of rebounded him up off the k-rail. >> kevin's car is thrown into the air and out of the racetrack.
the front of his car actually clears the barrier fencing, but in a bizarre twist, kevin's left rear tire gets tangled up in a tiny cable. >> the stop was so sudden it knocked kevin out. when i got over to the race car, they were -- the emts were yelling, he's out, he's out, he's out. >> he's out. he's out. he's out. get over here, he's out. >> suspended 20 feet in the air hanging by a steel thread, things don't look good for kevin. >> there was lot of concern about kevin's well-being, first of all, because of the fact that he'd stopped so suddenly. any time you stop in a race car that quickly, you know, he went virtually from 70 miles an hour to zero miles an hour in probably less than a second. >> if we lift too hard on here, i don't want it to invert and him go down head first. >> the rescue effort is a race against time. emergency workers are uncertain as to how long that tiny cable can hold the 1,500-pound race
car in place. >> i was very concerned that that cabling could somehow rip free, and we had people all over the top of that race car working very gingerly trying to get the car freed off the racetrack. >> and then there's the leaking fuel. >> the other thing that was of major concern is these race cars have a breather on the top of the fuel system, and that fuel was actually leaking out of kevin's race car, so it's a very combustible, very dangerous fuel. >> once the emt determines kevin isn't severely injured, they focus on the challenge of getting him out of the car ever so carefully. >> and they kind of hoisted him up so that kevin could grab on to the catch fence, and he actually climbed down into the other side where the crowd was waiting. he actually had some family waiting for him when he got out of the race car. as things ended up, it was the perfect scenario. kevin wasn't hurt. very spectacular crash.
>> perfect scenario is right. safely out of danger and in the arms of friends and family, it turns out kevin's little tire snag probably saved his life. >> you know, i would have to say that if kevin had cleared that cable and he'd sailed on out of the racetrack, he probably had a 20 or 25-foot drop to the other side. with that momentum and that speed, it is quite entirely possible that he could have made the parking lot and it could have been a much worse accident than it actually was. >> after kevin's out of the car, it's no small affair to untangle the mess. >> one of the track workers actually had to take that tire off. he actually had to physically take the tire off to unstring the car. and what we did, we took a bucket loader and lifted the car up to take the tension off of that cable. and that was what freed the car eventually.
>> sprint car racing is a sport that's all about taking risks. >> i think the reason that kevin ended up flipping his race car as violently as he did is kevin and his crew made a guess about setup on the car. they made a guess on how fast that car could get through the corner and how they could adjust the race car in order to get him through that corner, and i think they guessed wrong. >> but experienced drivers like tony know, you've got to take the spills with the thrills. >> that's part of racing. ask anybody in this pit. that's part of this deal. if you're going fast, that's going to happen, you know? and some guys are fortunate and some guys get theirselves in bad positions. coming up -- two gymnasts learn the laws of physics the hard way. >> we knew it was going to be dangerous. >> i just remember hitting the
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it's a terrifying moment. a high school gymnast crashes to the ground in a daring stunt gone wrong. >> i think it really rocked the school that night. it was really just a miracle that i was alive. >> it's december 2005. high-flying gymnast nicole lev is eagerly looking forward to her team's home show and a very special night at her high school in portland, tennessee. >> the home show is definitely the biggest show of the year. but this was sort of what we prepared for all year. so excitement is pretty high. >> the team has a surprise finale in store that night, the
famed russian swing. >> the inspiration came from the same apparatus that cirque du soleil had. >> the swing is a pendulum that catapults fliers as high as 30 feet in the air. the team has never performed on the swing in a show before, and they're hoping it will wow the audience. >> we were trying to have something maybe more exciting for the crowd, something they had never seen before. >> what the audience sees is certainly not what anyone expected. with the swing, timing is everything. >> all week before the show during practice, i had been leaving a little bit early, and so i had been going straight up. >> on the night of the show, nicole is determined not to repeat the mistakes she's made in practice. she takes off and does a single back tuck, but she overcompensates. >> i went too far the other way. i waited too long and i pushed really hard and it sent me more
horizontal than vertical. >> the slight miscalculation makes a big difference in where nicole lands, and the mistake is compounded by something else that goes wrong that night. >> we would usually practice with an additional smaller crash pad on the end, but for some reason that day it wasn't there. >> with no crash mat to break her fall, nicole hits the ground hard. >> it happened very fast. i pushed off. i don't remember if i thought, oh, i've gone too far, and when i hit the ground, it knocked me out instantly. >> nicole lies motionless on the floor for several minutes. horrified, the audience is frozen, waiting for her to come around. >> people said that they could hear me trying to breathe but i was just really straining because the air had been knocked out of me. >> nicole is rushed to the hospital. >> i was very disoriented, and i
just had this feeling of what's going on? i really just want to go finish the show. >> nicole's injuries are so serious she's taken from the local hospital by helicopter to nashville. she spends the night drifting in and out of consciousness. as she heals, nicole realizes she's lucky. her injuries could have been so much worse. >> thankfully, i miraculously landed flat. i didn't land on my head. i didn't break anything. i just had had a concussion, and i had just strained my lower back. >> after nicole's accident, the team retires the russian swing. >> i think after the incident everyone was in agreement that the swing should not be used again. in syracuse, new york, an olympic hopeful has a dangerous
encounter with the vault. >> oh, good heavens. oh. >> in his heyday, brian meeker was a champion gymnast. now he's doing what he loves most, teaching kids to become superathletes. >> give me five. at ta girl. >> meeker has competed as a big ten champion. was an ncaa all-american, and a member of the 1984 olympic team. more than two decades later, he co-owns kenwood gymnastic center in minneapolis. >> gymnastics is a very unique sport. knowing your body in space, being able to stand up and do a flip at any time is kind of a cool thing, too. >> while brian is known throughout the sports world as a champ, he's also known by another name. >> my nickname, and still is, crash. >> gets a good, strong, powerful run. >> oh, good heavens! oh! i have never seen a vaulter take a shot like that. >> i tell you, he's hurt. he is hurt.
>> ooh, it's one of those videos that makes you wince every time you see it, but you can't stop watching it. >> i was competing in the 1981 national sports festival. >> 21-year-old brian makes the finals. his first vault goes without a hitch. >> for my second vault -- and you can see i actually look down, i'm always 65 feet, 7 inches. that's where i start from. when you run for the vault, you want to be at the end of the board. you always check the spring boards. it's almost like a ritual thing you do. i always had my board 1 1/2 feet away from where the horse is. you want it to be exactly the same every time. same number of steps. everything happens the same so you get the same results. now, unfortunately, in my case, things went just a little bit further and i got a different result. >> oh, good heavens! >> i probably ran faster than i ever ran in my life. each step probably just went a little bit further. my left foot was fine.
my right foot, if you look at my right foot, just oversteps the board just a little bit and slides off. so i wind up just piling into the vault. >> that horse brian slams into weighs 350 pounds and knocks him unconscious for about 30 seconds. >> i just remember hitting the horse, being in a huge amount of pain and just having this confusion of why am i on this side of the horse still? i'm supposed to be over there. >> the impact is tremendous so it's fortunate brian only suffers a stress fracture in his sternum. he's back at the gym a week later but obviously not in top form. after the accident brian eventually begins competing seriously again. >> i was really lucky. again, it's something that actually happens to gymnasts all the time. i just happened to do it on national television. >> okay, rosie. >> he still competes in an alumni meet and also judges internationally. vaulting is still his passion, and now it seems his son has caught the fever. >> get the speed going.
ooh, i like that one. good. >> and as for the video that lives on decades later? >> i use it all the time. i have fun with it. i figure i might as well embrace it and have fun with it. >> oh, good heavens! coming up -- two motorcycles, two wheelies. >> i crash, and it was like a 30-foot skid. >> whoa. >> i'm thinking, oh, man, we just killed this guy. you total your brand new car. nobody's hurt,but there will still be pain. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do, drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had liberty mutual new car replacement, you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. with liberty mutual new car replacement,
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♪ (announcer) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. in morrison, new york, a motorcycle stunt goes totally out of control. >> and i was like, oh, this isn't going to be good. it's gonna hurt. >> it's august, 2010, and aaron dooley, an avid cyclist, is out touring with his local riding group, something he loves to do as often as he can. that day his friend danielle
crowley is filming from the back of her boyfriend's motorcycle. >> they were just asking around if anybody wanted to videotape, so i agreed. it's a fun experience. >> aaron and the other riders love doing stunts and can't resist the thrill of the open road. >> around here there's not many places. it's easier just to go on the road. it's not as safe. it's not safe at all, but we come out here on the road and we ride our bikes and we do wheeies. >> the wheelie is aaron's personal favorite. >> when you first start out doing wheelies, it's probably like one of the scariest things you've done. you're like, holy cow, this thing has tons of power. and you get off and your hands are shaking. >> that august day seems perfect for a joy ride. after all, to aaron, what day isn't? >> it is a perfect day for riding, really. just not my day. >> danielle crowley isn't expecting anything out of the ordinary, just the boys doing their usual antics. >> that's what they like to do.
it's their fun, it's their release. you know, he's going to do a wheelie, he's going to come back down and he's going to be fine. >> danielle is filming another rider when aaron decides he wants to get in on the action. >> i wanted to get up so i was next to him, and as soon as i slipped the clutch to bring it up, i knew i brought it up pretty fast. and there's just this feeling when you get to a balance point in a wheelie that you're just like oh [ bleep ], what's going to happen here? >> suddenly, aaron is airborne, catapulted off his bike. >> as i was falling, it was just a butterfly gut feeling. >> aaron slides more than 30 feet with 20 or so other riders fast approaching. >> all these people are driving by me. pretty much felt like i made eye contact with every person who almost hit me. >> danielle's terrified of what she might have captured on camera. >> you don't want somebody to hurt themselves or die like right in front of you.
it's probably the worst feeling you can have. and i thank god that everybody else was careful. >> thankfully aaron's spine protecter absorbs most of the impact from the fall and saves him from serious injury. in fact, as you might expect from aaron, he gets right back up on the bike. >> people pulled over, started up, they are like it's good to go, get on it, and i didn't really have a choice, and we just ride away, take the next exit. >> but not long after he's back on the road, aaron begins feeling the pain everywhere. >> my whole body was just like oh, that hurt. shaking. couldn't stop shaking at all. >> the only real bruise aaron has, besides the one to his ego -- >> i had a bruised butt. i mean, the bruise on my butt -- my butt looked like it was dead, it was black. >> i just can't believe he's alive. >> for any one of you wheelie riders out there, aaron has a piece of advice.
do what he says but definitely not what he does. >> i tell other people just to not even start. i'm like, you know, it's going to cost you money. it's going to hurt because you're going to crash. but then i go out and do it, so can't really say anything. in pontiac, michigan, another motorcycle stunt goes flying out of control. >> whoa! >> i said oh, my god, he's either seriously hurt or he's deceased. >> whoa! whoa! >> it's july 2007, and veteran cinematographer stanley bridges is shooting a music video. local rap group ntl doesn't have a lot of money for the production, so the plan is to make it up as they go along. >> we'll figure it out.
yeah, that's pretty much all i wanted is guerrilla style music videos. >> if there's any rule to guerrilla style music videos, the first one is never turn down the opportunity for a free motorcycle stunt shot. >> a guy comes up to the director, anthony, and he says, hey, what's going on, man? what you all doing? and anthony says we are shooting a video and he's like hey, man, can i be in it? well, sure, man. hey, can you do a wheelie for us, man? that would be great. >> yeah, okay. yeah, i can do a wheelie. >> stanley readies himself for action. >> we're shooting this shot right now. >> and the guy tries to do it and barely gets off the ground. >> that wasn't no wheelie. that was a bunny hop. >> okay. let's do it again because that wasn't really a wheelie.
he does it a third time. >> all right, here he comes. we rolling. >> the third time really is the charm. he gets it. >> with one take in the can, the director pushes for a safety, one extra shot. >> one more, dog. >> but the safety proves anything but safe. the rider takes off toward the camera from a far distance and at a high rate of speed. >> he pulls up, he loses control -- >> whoa! >> and the bike slips out right out from under him. and he slides and the bike flips up in the air and then it hits a guy's old school cadillac that was just sitting on the street, and i'm thinking oh, man, we just killed this guy. >> immediately after the crash, stanley, the director, and the crowd are astonished when the
rider stands. up. >> he got up. he was okay. i think his jacket was torn, but the bike is totaled. >> stanley looks back on what may have gone wrong for the motorcycle rider. >> i'm not an expert in bike riding. i think he was probably going way too fast. i think that he put it up way too high. he pretty much loses control. this was just a guy who was on his bike, saw a camera, wanted to get on a video, you know, because everybody wants to be a star. it didn't work out too well in his favor, i guess. >> whoa! >> ah, that poor guy. that poor bike. >> whoa! [ bleep ]. >> coming up -- a kite boarder's
stunt turns into a smash hit. >> i'm like, oh, no, i'm going straight to the thing. oh, my god, i'm done. and i just saw my life flashing right in front of me. when "caught on camera: thrills and spills" continues. what does it mean to have an unlimited mileage warranty on a certified pre-owned mercedes-benz? what does it mean to drive as far as you want... for up to three years... and be covered? it means your odometer... is there to record... the memories. during the mercedes-benz certified pre-owned sales event now through march 2nd, you'll get complimentary pre-paid maintenance and receive your first two month's payments on us. only at your authorized mercedes-benz dealer. for over 19 million people. [ alex ] transamerica helped provide a lifetime of retirement income. so i can focus on what matters most. [ female announcer ] everyone has a moment when tomorrow becomes real. transamerica.
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top stories. the city of cleveland saying the shooting death of 12-year-old tamir rice by a police officer was a result of rice's own actions. the city denies any wrongdoing in response to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the rice family. an officer shot him last november when he held a pellet gun. police in germany are warning of an unspecified potential threat from islamic extremists. one person was arrested in that investigation. now back to "caught on camera." welcome back to "caught on camera." i'm contessa brewer.
athletes and thrillseekers don't just put their own skills to the test, they challenge the laws of nature, too. in our next story, a kite border stakes his life on the fickle wind, and it lets him down hard. a pro kite boarder soars into the air and slams into solid steel. >> oh! >> oh, oh! >> i just saw my life flash in front of me. i started kite boarding 11 years ago when it first started. >> dimitri lives to fly. for wings he uses a kite in a relatively new sport called kite boarding. >> the appeal about this sport is the freedom. it's just like jumping and pure power house, but you are using nature to do that. >> the greek-born dimitri also flies to live. he's a pro and owner of a
company that manufactures and sells kite boards. >> i was very lucky to get into kite boarding. i did it for myself and got sponsored by a few different companies and finally started my own kite company. >> kite boarding combines the appeal of boarding, riding the waves, with the pleasures of flying through the air on the kite. >> the main thing with kite boarding is the jumping, is the hang time. everything happens up there in the air. >> kite boarders can spin, pop off stationary obstacles and get really big air. >> i like the -- how you call it, the adrenaline. i like pushing the limits. but of course, you have also the chance of getting hurt, so it's the chances you take. >> but because he knows the risks, dimitri stresses safety. he's also a husband and father to two, cameron and olivia. he hopes to be there for them for a long time. dimitri teaches the sport and cameron is among his best pupils. >> you need to get lessons. it's a dangerous sport. you know, there's been a lot of accidents, a lot of death. it is a dangerous sport.
>> slowly, slowly. >> his knowledge of the dangers of kite boarding come from painful experience, none worse than one day in april of 2007. >> this day it was one of the scariest times in my life. >> it's a commercial shoot in miami, florida. dimitri's assignment, leap 40 feet in the air over a house on stilts in the middle of the bay. fortunately, the wind can't be better. >> down in florida the wind was very good, it was very strong so i knew that i could clear very well and could jump very high. >> he even has a shoulder cam capturing his moves from behind as he sails aloft. >> i knew i was going around 25 knots. it's probably like 25 miles an hour, 26 miles an hour. the first jump was perfect, second was perfect. >> it's a good thing the wind is right because the shape of the house leaves him nowhere to go if the wind should drop. >> in order to jump the house, i have to go inside the u shape, inside of it.
so if something goes wrong and i'm going that fast, there's no bailout. i will hit something. those are the chances you have to take. >> suddenly the winds shift. heading toward another jump, he has a sinking feeling. >> you know when you feel like something is going to go wrong. >> the wind dies down. his lift is gone. and he might not have the power he needs. >> i'm like, oh, my god. i'm done. >> the crash is inevitable and horrible. >> i hit the thing, landed, then the kite fell and started dragging me from the top of the first floor. when i saw i was dropping, i put my hand to protect myself from the railing on the first floor, so i was conscious during the entire impact and thank god because i could have broke my head or my neck on the railing on the first floor. >> you want to lay down? >> where's your pain? >> dimitri lies stunned on the deck of the first floor.
>> i started checking my toes first. i could move them. then i would start to breathe in and see my ribs. it hurt on the left. so i broke a small rib. it wasn't important. >> we need to get some warm towels around him. >> my behind hurt a lot. that was the most concerning. but you know, you don't need a behind. it looked like it was fine so -- >> it could have been so much worse. what saved him? possibly the last-minute choice to jump, despite the failing wind. >> two seconds before i'm ready to jump, i feel a lack of wind of strength from 32, it went down probably to 20-mile-an-hour winds. i think if i would have stopped, it would have thrown me through the glass. through the sharp things inside the house. >> to avoid hitting the house and its plate glass windows he decides to jump and aim for the steel pilings board first. >> i do a lot of martial arts and i know how to absorb some impact. but i just put the board in and
just used the chi to absorb the impact. the board broke, it took at least 60% of the impact. >> when he realizes he is going to be okay, all he can think of is his kids. so they wanted me to go to the hospital. i have to catch the plane, get home, pick up the kids from school, all of that. so i'm like, i'll check myself the next day. >> at the airport he takes a look at his injuries for the first time. >> this is where i just went and lift the shirt and it was all black and blue. i was like wow. finally got on the plane with more pills, got home and picked up the kids and told them the story. >> being with his children is more healing than anything else he could do. >> so that actually helped me to pick them up from school and hug them and all that. that was a good medication for me. >> two months later, he's back on the water, in the air. he's happy to fly but determined to take fewer risks for his children's sake. >> it's part of my job.
it's part of what i do. i'm still going for it, jumping, but this time i learned my lesson. after the third time, stop. coming up -- a family out four-wheeling goes over the edge. >> oh, my god. oh, my god, oh, my god, oh, my god. >> you could hear my youngest screaming, grandpa, get me out, grandpa, get me out. when "caught on camera: thrills and spies." continues. which i did. its because i had, had a passion. my whole life i wanted to teach myself to build computers. i wanted to build these things for free. i just wanted to do it for the world and you know, when you want something, that's what you do the best. ♪ ♪ i'm out of the office right now, hi, you've reached emma. but will get back to you just as soon as i possibly can.
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anything that can happen at any time. rocks can slip, rocks can move, and that's part of the exhilaration of driving. >> the may family is willing to take the risks along with the rewards. >> michael, that's very soft on that side on your right. >> we take our kids with us because it's fun. they have a blast. >> i'm not putting my children in any more danger than any other parent strapping their children into a car going 80 miles an hour down the freeway. we have seat belts for everybody in the vehicle. my youngest son is in a car seat with a seat belt, kind of like a five-point harness for him. we're out actually seeing a part of nature that most people will never see in their lifetime. >> the red rock canyons and hills of moab, utah, offer the may family an ideal place for this extreme sport.
>> we go down to moab, utah, every year to the annual jeep safari. that's where approximately anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 various off-road vehicles meet, and we go jeeping. you got it. >> in april 2009 the mays join a caravan of four-wheelers riding the flat iron mesa trail. it offers michael plenty of opportunity to pit his maneuvering skills against the power of gravity. >> part of having fun is, you know, taking those risks and seeing what you can do. >> there you go. you're getting ready to hit a bigger rock. >> the kids love riding over the obstacles. they wouldn't have it any other way. >> when i go out jeeping, i don't really think it's dangerous. it's just a blast. >> back it up! back it up!
>> it's the best thing in the world. >> heidi rides along but hops out to join the watching crowd when they reach the trail's tougher challenges. >> my husband does all of the driving, and i'm more of the spectator, navigator type person. right over the top. you're down. >> this time, in addition to being a spectator/navigator, heidi is also the family photographer. >> this is the first time that we're going to videotape, so we want everybody to be in the vehicle and mom will videotape it, and it will be a great thing to show. straight down. >> as heidi tapes, mike drives the jeep and the kids up and down a ragged cliff known as tilt-a-wheel. >> hold on! >> when we started the run, i just expected it would be a quick two-minute run and we'd be at the bottom watching the next person go through. >> but only seconds later, heidi senses something is wrong.
>> there's this awful creaking sound, and i thought, okay, that's not normal, and then the vehicle just started rolling. >> jesus! >> to mike's horror, he completely loses control. >> once the right front tire dropped down off that ledge, it was gone. there was no saving it. >> oh, my god. oh my god. i basically tried to run up to the jeep to almost to like stop it. there was a part that's going through your head that's going this is not happening. even though you've just watched it play out in front of you. jesus! when it hit the bottom, it just made this huge thunk, and then there was nothing.
>> when we landed, me and my little brother, we bumped heads or something. and on the side of my head, it just hurt like really bad. >> my god. >> mike's father who'd been in the car in front of them, is first one there. >> he came running up and pulled the passenger door on the back up and that's when you could hear my youngest screaming, grandpa, get me out, grandpa, get me out. >> oh, my god! >> he's coming. >> my heart stopped, and then i hear my oldest one going i cannot get out. and i don't hear anything from mike. >> inside the vehicle 12-year-old garen sees his rescuer appear. >> i finally heard the door creep open and my little brother
getting out and my grandpa putting his hand on my shoulder going, garen, are you okay, and i go, yes, i'm okay, and that's when i unbuckled my seat belt and get out. >> finally mike emerges and heidi realizes her family is still intact. at last heidi can let go of her own anxiety. >> right down from where they turned the jeep back over, i walked down to the base of that and just threw up. my nerves were shot. >> but they're not done yet. they're in the middle of the desert with miles left to go. and mike is still up for adventure. >> there's actually a more difficult obstacle after this one that really required some precision driving. it was freaky. >> considering what they've just experienced, the kids in the jeep are amazingly relaxed. >> the youngest one, we got him strapped in and he went to sleep, and the oldest one said
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see you guys. >> on a new mexico bridge, a base jumper's ambitious attempt at acrobatics spins out of control as he crash lands on the bottom of a rocky gorge. >> he just died. >> they say if you start base jumping, you're going to die base jumping. it's only a matter of time. >> in 1998, base jumper alex walkling attempts his 98th base jump off the rio grande gorge bridge in taos, new mexico. his brother ralph is there to film it. alex estimates the 600-foot drop will last eight seconds, giving him a four-second free-fall before he has to pull the rip cord.
>> if you don't pull your chute in time, you're going to hit the ground. that will make it dangerous. >> simply jumping off a bridge isn't insane enough for alex so he decides to make things a bit more interesting. >> i tried to do a front flip half twist into a back flip for my first jump at like 5:00 in the morning. i was barely awake and just not coherent with myself. >> alex's fancy flip work costs him more time than he can afford. he can't deploy his chute in the four-second time limit. and now he's deep into the danger zone. >> he just died. >> the ground was coming up really fast, and i was like freaking out. i just threw my pilot chute as fast as i could. >> but it isn't fast enough. alex hits the ground traveling more than 100 miles per hour. >> when i hit the ground it was lights out. i woke up about 15 seconds later on my back floating downstream in a daze about what had just happened. >> having survived the terrifying impact, alex's nightmare is really just
beginning. >> i was in about six inches of water, right where the water met the land. >> alex remains there suffering on the cold, wet ground, for several hours before help can reach him. >> i was screaming at the top of my lungs. i had a radio in my pocket to radio my brother, and i'm not sure if it broke during the impact or what, but i had no connection with my brother. i tried to radio him and tell him that i had bones sticking out of my leg. i was like call 911. but there was no response. >> alex's brother ralph calls for help, but he's convinced his brother is gone forever. >> you can't even imagine how hard this is. >> ralph talks to his brother, sharing his emotions on camera. >> i love you, alex. i support you in what you do, but you better know that this was your risk. this is the risk you took. >> finally, help arrives in the form of a national guard black
hawk helicopter. after several painful attempts to secure alex in the safety harness, he's successfully airlifted out. >> once they got me into the helicopter, they flew me out of the gorge and landed on top of the road, and they rolled me from one helicopter to another helicopter, and at that point i got to see my brother for the second time that morning, and it was really cool to see him again. >> with a compound fracture in his femur, a shattered patella, a broken hip and the insides of his knee exposed, alex is in really bad shape. >> when i got to the hospital, they rushed me in. i had about six to ten doctors working on me. i could see bones sticking out, i could see skin and blood and it was -- it was unbelievably painful. i couldn't believe that i had survived the jump.
when i watch the footage, i see that i'm really just not focusing on what i'm doing. i'm sort of all over the place. if i could go back there, i would, you know, try to -- i wouldn't jump. >> for alex, the recovery is long and painful. >> i've had about five surgeries. i had one surgery in santa fe, new mexico, and then i was flown back to ohio where i had three more surgeries and basically had a lot of metal put in my body. the initial recovery took about two months until i was able to walk again. you would think after this experience i would stop jumping, but i sort of had the reverse thing happen to me. i wanted to jump more. >> alex and his brother returned to the rio grande gorge bridge a year later to try again. this time, alex skips the acrobatics and pulls his chute right away.
>> yes! oh, my god! yes! sick, dude. yes! >> alex continues to seek new challenges and has since completed more than 600 base jumps. >> that was the craziest [ bleep ] i've ever seen. >> to me, base jumping is the celebration of life. when i jump, i just feel like i'm alive. >> most of the people in these stories went right back to their favorite activity. if what gets you going is challenging yourself and if you happen to capture your feat on camera, we can all experience the secondhand rush. i'm contessa brewer. that's all for this edition of "caught on camera."
horrifying accidents. >> one scream rose above the rest, a real scream of terror. >> brutal beatings. >> i was saying oh, my god. oh, my god. i can remember doing that all the way. >> terrifying moments. >> i just waved my hands back and forth. >> in the face of danger. >> we all figured something is happening. we have to do something. they didn't stand silently by. >> i'm a mother. that's my instinct. >> instead, they placed themselves in harm's way. >> just wanted the baby to be fine and okay. a horrible way to die. >> to save the life of another. >> it all happened so quy.