tv ABC World News ABC January 24, 2016 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
welcome to "world news tonight." the blizzard of 2016, beating the forecast in america's the epic storm killing nearly buildings pushed to a breaking point. entire communities buried in snow. rivers of ice flooding homes, as the big dig gets under way. travel mess. tens of thousands of travelers stranded. airports under a virtual ground freeze. convoys of snow plows clearing the roads. how long till travelers get to where they need to go? race for 2016. one week till iowa. the new numbers out tonight.
cruz in the hawkeye state. on the run. three men considered extremely dangerous, accused of murder and torture, busting out. inside their escape plan. tonight, the manhunt, the new reward, and why they may be hiding in plain sight. and, crash for cash? the man accused of staging more than 20 car accidents and getting his victims to pay. it's part of a multi-billion dollar industry. now, how drivers are fighting back. good evening. thanks for joining us on this sunday. i'm tom llamas. we begin with one of the fiercest winter storms on record. stretching across 1,000 miles, from louisiana to new england. leaving at least 25 people dead. blinding snow, fierce winds, with the bull's-eye on new york
and from washington to new england, streets narrowed to a single lane. cars hard to see. and backhoes being used in washington, with the capitol in the distance. and a river of ice in the streets. and the storm grounding more than 12,000 flights. rob marciano, leading us off tonight. >> reporter: the snow's stopped falling, but for millions still reeling from this monstrous blizzard, the battle is not over. firefighters in virginia struggling to dig out hydrants buryed under three feet of snow to battle a fire. roofs collapsing under the weight of all that snow. dozens displaced from this apartment complex in virginia. this church in pennsylvania caving in just hours before sunday services. even the redskins' practice dome
if you could even get to your car. new yorkers climbing four or five, six-foot drifts to reach them. the view from above capturing the scope. the nation's capitol shut down. winds gusting to 75 miles per hour at langley air force base. new york city suddenly finding itself in the bull's-eye. >> people have to take very seriously what's going on here. >> reporter: at least 25 deaths now blamed on the storm. a new jersey mom and her son tragically lost to carbon monoxide poisoning while warming up in a running car. in central park, 26.8 inches of snow, a 24-hour record, and just 0.1 of an inch shy of the all time record set in 2006. the biggest record in baltimore, 29.2 inches. cracking the top five in d.c. and philly, too. our gloria riviera in
this area. but all that snow has to go somewhere, and look at this. it's a snow wall and it's past my waist and it's barricading every car in the block in. >> reporter: here in new york, hundreds of cars are entombed in snow like that. all that snow is not easy to work around or get rid of. >> thank you. and now, to the travelers caught by the storm. passengers stuck in cities across the country, waiting for a flight out. david kerley on the challenge at the airport, and the outlook for the week ahead. >> reporter: so much snow to clear. plows and trucks working all day at an empty washington, d.c., airport. no planes, no passengers. a ghost town. >> please maintain control of your personal belongings. >> reporter: some hopeful
>> i just want to get out of here and go home. >> reporter: -- told they are going nowhere. >> i showed up at the airport and the airport's closed. >> reporter: already more than 800 flights cancelled for tomorrow. bringing the storm total to about 12,000, as all that snow is moved. and it's not just out on the airfield. a lot is going on behind the scenes, and workers have to be able to get to their positions in order for the airport to re-open. the closure of the major airports in the east has a ripple effect across the entire country -- delays and cancellations. and even overseas, some international flights can't get in. michael kurth is stranded in brussels. >> in total, it will come out to be about 48 hours or more of travel. >> reporter: amtrak rail, running reduced service during the storm, is coming back. regional and city rail, far from full service at new york's penn station. >> we got stranded and had to stay one more night. >> reporter: but this afternoon, a few flights starting to take off from northern airports. this one at new york's laguardia.
commute. on road, rail, and in the air. and with all this snow to move, it's unlikely that any of the commutes will be smooth. tom? >> so many stuck tonight. david, thank you. driving in the storm, particularly treacherous. a bus load of high school students trapped for nearly 20 hour us. eva pilgrim on their long journey home. >> reporter: tonight, drivers stranded in that endless gridlock in some cases for 30 hours, finally free. 7:30 friday night, this church bus, packed with 37 students and 10 chaperones, gets stuck on the pennsylvania turnpike, the blizzard intensifying. >> it was bitter cold. it was in the teens, if not colder. >> reporter: early the next morning, still stuck, the students turn into good samaritans, helping out other
>> we gave them food. and some of them sat on the bus with us. >> reporter: yesterday afternoon, freedom. but ten miles behind them, another school group is still barricaded in the snow. it takes them 11 more hours to get out, 30 hours total in blizzard gridlock. that group holding mass to lift the spirits of the marooned travelers. >> reporter: the last group of stuck cars, finally able to get moving this morning. and tonight, everyone is on the road home. >> we were all in good spirits. and we all had fun together. we all glad we had each other. >> reporter: while the roads may be clearing, the concern turns to black ice, with melted snow that could freeze again. tom? >> that black ice, so dangerous. eva, thank you. and it wasn't just the snow and wind that battered the coast, but a powerful storm surge that flooded streets forced people from their homes and trapped others. here's linzie janis.
record-breaking flooding in parts of new jersey. huge waves submerging towns in over nine feet of water. roads turned into rushing rivers. huge chunks of ice floating down the streets. now, the people here, cleaning up. dominic piro's deli in north wildwood, taking on two feet of water. >> four, five inches higher than sandy. >> reporter: and it will cost more, too. >> about $50,000. >> reporter: he doesn't have flood insurance, but says he will somehow re-open. hundreds of people had to be rescued from the flood waters. like this man in ocean city, and this little girl carried out of her home by police. we tagged along as emergency crews helped this elderly woman return to her apartment. okay, you're home. >> i'm home. >> reporter: this is what the town of stone harbor looks like now, but take a look at it on saturday. more than three feet of standing water in the streets.
better than expected. like belmar. the sand dune kept the town dry. and back here in the deli, the flood waters are completely gone. but this pile, just some of the stuff he's going to have to throw away. tom, he says he hopes to be back in business by the summer. >> we hope he does as well. linzie, thank you so much. let's turn to rob to get a check on the forecast. is there a warm-up anytime soon? >> not tonight. where it's going to be slushy, there will be re-freezing and some slick spots. look at the numbers, well below freezing in the snow zone. 20s and teens. tomorrow morning, it will be dicey.
inches, 6 inches, just 35 miles apart. but here's the warm-up, temps getting to the lower 40s. even still, with all the snow, i don't think much of it will melt. back to you. >> rob, thanks so much. a new poll tonight with good news for donald trump. surging past ted cruz there, taking the lead. marco rubio and ben carson, rand paul, all behind them. in new hampshire, trump ahead of cruz by double digits. cecilia vega has it all from iowa tonight. >> reporter: donald trump kicking off his sunday on the campaign trail, right here in an iowa church. and he ended it with a rally surrounded by 2,000 supporters. >> so, this is crunch time. >> reporter: and one protester. the man in the red turban interrupted trump as he spoke about terrorism. >> good-bye!
him out, the crowd went wild. >> usa! usa! >> reporter: and from trump? >> he wasn't wearing one of those hats, was he? was he wearing one of those? and he never will. >> reporter: that double-digit lead, largely due to first-time caucus goers, backing the brash billionaire, like the young family i met today. you are going to caucus for donald trump? >> we are, first time. >> reporter: why? >> he is relatable. >> he's not the politician you see every year running. he wants change. >> something different about him. he's not scripted. >> reporter: his gop rivals, still hoping for a victory of their own. >> voters here take their vote very seriously. >> wow! >> reporter: it was texas senator ted cruz's younger personality on full display in this new clip posted on youtube. >> what i want to do in life? >> reporter: the lanky teenager, talking about his life goals, seems to know exactly what he wants. >> take over the world, world domination, you know, rule everything. rich, powerful, that sort of stuff. >> reporter: dominating the
>> i wanted to take a break from my full-time career of writing things on facebook. >> reporter: "snl"'s version of trump and sarah palin, played by none other than tina fey. >> right wing, clingers of our guns. >> reporter: a lot of laughter last night, but the race is just as heated on the democratic side. where right now, it's a battle for turnout. today, hillary clinton's biggest event, 600 people showed up. for sanders, the number was 2,000. tom? >> huge crowds in the frigid temperatures. cecilia, thank you. >> thank you. and to southern california, where three escaped prisoners may be hiding in plain sight. we have new details on how they slipped out of a maximum security jail. here's lauren lyster.
investigators revealing surveillance video from the jail in california. the flashes of light, believed to be the inmates. the fbi and u.s. marshals, joining the desperate search for hossein nayeri, jonathan tieu, and bac tien duong. >> two of them are in custody for attempted murder, and one of them for mayhem, kidnapping. i consider them very dangerous individuals. >> reporter: the inmates, escaping their dorm-style cell by cutting holes through a grate, climbing through the plumbing, then breaking through five other secured areas. that's how they made it to an unsecured part of this roof, rappelling down. the inmates were last seen friday morning at around 5:00 a.m. they weren't discovered missing for 16 hours, setting off a manhunt late friday night. the focus now on places where the fugitives have family and friends. the family of the youngest
manipulated or tricked into doing this, you know? >> reporter: investigators say the plan was sophisticated and well-thought out. the fbi and u.s. marshals now offering a $50,000 reward to find the missing men. tom? >> thank you. still ahead, one man, and nearly two dozen car accidents. is he the world's unluckiest driver, or was he something else? tonight, how the drivers he sued are fighting back. later, a powerful earthquake rocks a part of the country. tremors felt 160 miles away. those stories and more, coming up. introducing centrum vitamints. a brand new multivitamin you enjoy like a mint. with a full spectrum of essential nutrients... surprisingly smooth, refreshingly cool. i see you found the vitamints. new centrum vitamints.
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what? welcome back. tonight, the story of a man accused of being a professional victim. plotting car accidents, convincing others that it was their fault, then waiting for the big insurance check to arrive. investigators said it worked for a while, until now. clayton sandell has the story. >> reporter: prosecutors say navid monjazeb made a lucrative
drivers, filing fraudulent insurance claims, then collecting thousands of dollars. he allegedly did it nearly two dozen times. one victim's car had barely a scratch. but monjazeb claims his car looked like this. he's now facing charges including insurance fraud and reckless endangerment. one study estimates in 2012 fake or inflated car accident claims added up to as much as $7.7 billion. as one of monjazeb's victims found, that cost gets passed on. >> my rates went up, and i had to pay to fix my own car because i only had liability on it. >> reporter: authorities say the schemes often involve multiple cars and fake witnesses. >> the victim slams into the second car which is filled with three or four passengers, all of whom will claim injuries. >> reporter: some drivers are now turning to dash cameras, popular overseas for catching everything from meteors to plane crashes. this driver in georgia used a dash cam to prove another car ran a red light, hitting him.
sure that you can prove in court if you need to that the accident was not your fault without having some kind of video evidence. >> reporter: manjazeb's lawyers did not return our calls, but authorities say they've now put the brakes on his alleged scam. clayton sandell, abc news, denver. when we come back, a skier falling 1,000 feet down a mountain. all of it caught on camera. what happened when she finally stopped tumbling, and the unbelievable thing she said. and later, a police officer that went above and beyond the call of duty catches the attention of an nba legend. how they gave some kids the most amazing pickup game of their lives. stay with us. and now i have a choice. for her. for them. and him. a choice to take brilinta. a prescription for people who've been hospitalized for a heart attack. i take brilinta with a baby aspirin ...no more than 100 mg. as it affects how well it works.
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southwest of anchorage. where they also felt tremors. it struck in the middle of the this scene. so many, waking up to scenes like this right in their living rooms. and in many stores, the shaking there were at least 30 outages. luckily, no one was hurt. now to some heart-stopping video. a skier taking a frightening fall. we want to let you know she's okay. we'll prove it. take a look at this. a 1,000-foot drop. the skier falling fast, tumbling out of control. doesn't look like it will end well. but then she sits up, a sigh of relief. >> i'm okay. i'm okay. >> amazingly, she only slightly injured two fingers. you heard it. she's okay. now to the big nfl matchup. football fans watching closely the afc championship game. at what may have been the final clash of football's leading men, tom brady and peyton manning.
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finally tonight, this time of year, the last thing you need is for your furnace to die. but that happened to a military wife. but she was in for a surprise. here's john donvan. >> reporter: what this furnace in bridget stephen's house near pittsburgh needed the other day was a spark. because it was dead, cold broken. >> i felt that it was freezing in here. so i checked the thermostat and saw that it was like 50 degrees in the house. >> reporter: now, normally, she'd turn to her main furnace fixer, her husband robert. but he was off serving his country. still, with two kids at home, she reached out to robert anyway, by text. >> he gave me a couple of tips, but ultimately it wasn't working. >> reporter: so bridget gave in and calls this guy, paul betlyn, of betlyn heating and cooling, who headed right over, even though --
i just had a knee replacement. >> reporter: and so, paul betlyn goes inside this thing with a screwdriver, while bridget watches, and just chats. >> you know, my husband really would have been able to figure this out but he's getting ready to deploy. >> reporter: well, betlyn gets the thing going again. the furnace gets its spark, and so did he. in his heart, when he wrote out the bill. >> i couldn't say it because i was a little emotional. so i wrote, night call deployment special. $1. >> reporter: that's right. what would have been a bill for about $150, he wrote down to a buck. and even that, he wouldn't take from bridget. >> thank you, very, very much. >> you're welcome. >> reporter: "it's the kind of thing you read about," she told us, "but never think will happen to you." which is why, tonight, for this family of four, one far away, the house and home feel especially warm. and not just because the furnace is back working. john donvan, abc news, new york.