tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC February 18, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
on this wednesday night, when will it end? record-shattering temperatures tonight. even colder from the midwest to the northeast, all the way to the south. the accidents, highways covered in sheets of ice. roofs collapsing. the rescues. the young people the dog, pulled from the ice. also breaking tonight, the explosion at an american oil refinery. neighbors describeing what felt like an earthquake. the "american sniper" trial. tonight, the family of the accused killer on the stand. describing the former marine who went from this to this. the road rage mystery takes a turn tonight. the mother teaching her daughter how to drive. authorities now offering their own version. and saving the sea lion pups. washing up on america's shoreline in record numbers. our team, right there.
good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a wednesday night. and it's hard to believe it could get any worse. but tonight, 200 million americans bracing for the coldest air in decades. 25 states under wind chill warnings and advisories. look at this image tonight from nasa showing the midwest, the northeast, simply frozen. and this stretches all the way south. it's been deadly in tennessee and tonight, this image from lexington, kentucky drivers pushing cars off the highway. in massachusetts, growing concern over those collapsing roofs. and the american side of niagra falls tonight. no one fooled by the beauty. we have team coverage tonight. ginger zee with the new track, as the record-breaking cold arrives tonight. but we're going to begin here with abc's matt gutman in kentucky, at the scene of just one of many accidents across the south tonight. >> reporter: tonight, a nation bracing for record cold. in tennessee, a state of
emergency. this plane at nashville's air pors, encrusted. streets so frozen, you can skate on them. some schools closed for the entire week. on the road beneath the layer of snow the hidden danger of black ice. in nashville, a car just missing this police cruiser. it's about 10:00 a.m. and we're setting off from nashville to louisville. no sooner did we head out on busy interstate 65 than we hit this miles long traffic jam. that big rig first skidding on black ice and crashing into a bridge. because of the backup these three trucks and a car piling up in a secondary crash. most southern steps not accustomed to an ice storm this dangerous, and not equipped. the city of boston with about 44 inches of annual snow, has 500 plows and salt trucks. memphis has the same amount of people but only 14 trucks. across the region, the cold made for some spectacular rescues. in virgina beach, these two brothers fell through the ice in this pond and had to be rescued by a neighbor. both are okay. and in north carolina,
bryanna schug was sledding with her terrier brody. he fell through the thin ice. >> i was really sad and i was afraid. >> reporter: brody got a lifeline and then he got a warm bath. take a look at these workers, david. they are still working to sweep the diesel fuel that was spilled object this road off of it. check this out. that line of cars goes on for miles. it will be hours long. a very long night for motorists here and a very cold one. david? >> all right, matt gutman who traveled from tennessee to kentucky today for us. matt thank you. and to boston tonight. images of the misery from there. all that snow and with record-breaking cold none of it melting. look at the commuters today. massive delays adding to the frustration there. and across the region increasing fears over collapsing roof tops. the number already staggering. just today, a shopping plaza coming down. abc's tom llamas is there. >> reporter: tonight, this drone's eye view revealing boston's endless crippling snow,
and a hidden danger, massive rooftop icicles. falling ice to blame at this hospital in quincy splitting a gas main. 40 people evacuated. >> i just want it gone. keep the winter but get rid of the snow. >> reporter: all that snow leading to at least 80 reports of roof collapses or buildings damaged. like this one today at a shopping plaza. and mass transit a nightmare. some train states aren't even operating. can you see the sign here. for what it's worth, no trains. the bathrooms don't even work. everyone blaming this on the snow. workers tell us they haven't seen a train in four to five days. brent carr's commute usually takes 45 minutes. today, more than two hours. when streets and sidewalks look like this, walking around requires some creativity. check this out. they dug a tunnel to make getting around a little easier. boston's plows have covered more than 285,000 miles of road. that's the distance from here to the moon and then some.
and tonight, the snow is falling again in boston. there is so much snow in the city the boston red sox offered free tickets to anybody who would dig out five fire hnts like this one. it's just one more obstacle for firefighters. david? >> tom, thank you. let's get right to ginger. we're not kidding about this. this sweeps all the way down to the south. >> reporter: i'm most concerned about tonight, tomorrow night and early saturday morning. let me show you high. wind chill advisories warnings hard freeze warnings from north dakota to florida up to new york michigan ohio included. key west is even talking about record lows. that's how deep this cold gets. and we're talking about demolishing records. louisville will go to an actual air temperature early tomorrow morning of 13 below zero. 12 for raleigh. that cold front slips farther to the east. cleveland goes to 12 below. lexington, 16 below. the next natural question when
does it end? i've been face palming and looking at the long range modelses it does not look good. >> we're in the middle of winter. i saw above average in the west ginger and that's where we're headed next. the massive explosion at a refinery in southern california. the images this evening of the charred offmathafter math. neighbors for miling describing what felt like an earthquake. already, analysts warning of rising gas prices. abc's cecilia vega on the scene. >> reporter: the blast ripped through the refinery, leaving just a mound of twisted metal and twisted machinery. fire and haz mat crews racing to a blaze that melted steel, charred cars and left a layer of ash in its wake. residents and school children here in torrance advised to stay indoors. >> it felt like we had a car crash or a car hit our house. >> reporter: this morning's explosion so jolting,
neighbors say it felt like an earthquake. >> we just heard this loud bang, we saw the walls cave in. it was like it flexed in. and we were like -- kind of scary. >> reporter: four workers taken to the hospital with minor injuries. >> i can see the bellowing of and the smoke and the fumes coming. so i just located my guys and told them we got to go. >> reporter: tonight, exxon promising a thorough investigation of the cause. but some now predicting this will cause more pain at the pump. gas prices already on the rise, analysts say southern california will feel the brunt of this explosion, with drivers here possibly paying up to 15 cents a gallon more by next week. and that is a tough break for californians already paying some of the highest gas prices in the country. the good news though this evening, despite that explosion, despite all that ash in the air, authorities say the air quality out here is safe. david? >> cecilia vega on the scene for us. thank you. and now to texas tonight, the "american sniper" trial. this evening, the family of the accused killer on the stand. arguing the former marine seen
here accused of killing chris kyle did not know what he was doing was wrong. the transformation to that day in the back of the police cruiser. tonight, his girlfriend describing his behavior in the days before the murders. abc's ryan owens in texas. >> reporter: she was closer to the kill earl than anyone else in the months leading up to the crime. and eddie routh's girlfriend may have done more to help his insanity defense than any witness yesterday. jennifer wield has a degree in psychology and met routh through a dating website the year before he killed "american sniper" chris kyle and chad littlefield. she argued with routh the morning of the murders. the night before she says he was paranoid and hadn't showered in weeks. "they are listening to us," he told her, and asked her to write down her thoughts so the government wouldn't hear them. weed also told the jury that two weeks before routh held her and a roommate hostage with a decorative ninja sword and a butcher erer knife. he told her, "people were out to get us. we needed to stay in the
apartment." routh was arrested and put back in a mental hospital. eddie routh's sister testified about her little brother's history of erratic behavior. she recounted that he visited her and her husband. they called 911. >> listen my broerl just came by here. he told me that he's committed a murder. >> reporter: before he left and led police on this high speed chase, she told her brother, "i love you, but i hate your demons." they say justice is southwest here in texas, and this case is moving fast. the judge says testimony could end as soon as friday then closing arguments monday. david? >> ryan owens tonight. ryan thanks. now, to the breaking medical headline. new hope for women battling a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. one drug extending their lives by more than a year. let's get right to dr. richard besser. and rich you were telling me this is a big deal. >> reporter: it is. this is significant. 1 in 5 women with breast cancer have a particularly aggressive type called her-2 positive
disease. what they found was adding one drug to their treatment allowed the women to live more than a year longer to almost five years from less than four years. and with minimal additional side effects. >> does this signal that we can pinpoint treatments? >> reporter: this is the way cancer treatment is going. understanding why a particular cell has become cancerous and then targeting that. this is a great example of that and it's a fantastic news for these women and their families. >> new hope in the fight against breast cancer. rich thank you. well now tonight to the careful dance this evening for a possible presidential hopeful, jeb bush. embracing his family while at the same time distancing himself. what he said today about his brother george w. bush and about iraq. and what we heard from barbara bush herself about another bush possibly running. abc's jonathan karl now. >> reporter: there's no hiding from it. that's his brother, that's his father and if jeb bush is elected president, it would be three straight republican presidents from the same family. so today as he gave his first
big foreign policy speech he wanted to make something clear. >> just for the record i love my brother. i love my dad. i actually move my mother, as well. hope that's okay. and i admire their service to the nation and the difficult decisions that they had to make. but i'm my own man. >> reporter: as if to underline that jeb acknowledged his brother got some things wrong. >> there were mistakes made in iraq for sure. >> reporter: but he's also had to work to get his own family on board. or at least mom, who once said -- >> there are other people out there that are very qualified and we've had enough bushes. >> reporter: via skype the other night, she said she changed her mind. >> look who i've got with me tonight. >> reporter: the bushes are now on the same page. >> there he is! >> reporter: the first president bush approving, too. >> waving there. and jon, we should point out, though he's distancing himself from some of his brother's foreign policy but from our current president, too. >> reporter: that's right, david. the sharpest lines in this speech were about president obama's foreign policy which he
called inconsistent and indecisive. >> barbara bush changing her mind tonight, too. jon karl thank you. a major development tonight after an abc news investigation. one of the moms common types of guardrails on highways across this country. these images show how they're supposed to work. the guardrail absorbing the impact. but many now arguing, this is how some of them really work. piercing many vehicles instead, countless lawsuits arguing with deadly consequences. and tonight, the new tests. they wouldn't let us in with our cameras, so we teamed up with our station to fly overhead. what did they see? here's brian ross tonight. >> reporter: reporters covering the guardrail safety tests at this texas track were prohibited from taking any pictures. >> you got no phones or recording devices with you, correct? >> reporter: but working with our abc station in san antonio, we caught it all on tape from the air. in the first seven tests, at different heights and angles, the guardrails passed or appeared to pass, with minimal
damage to the test vehicle. but this eighth and final test, head-on at 62 miles per hour had a much different result. a dangerous failure according to the u.s. senator who demanded these tests. >> that final video is absolutely hideously shocking. the damage done to the driver's side is supposed to not happen. >> reporter: the company says it's too soon to call it a failure. >> you cannot judge a crash test by pictures. you've got to wait until all the data is in, until it's analyzed. >> reporter: the guard rails have to pass all eight tests to be considered safe by federal standards, and critics say they did not. >> it locked up, and it flipped around. this is exactly what some of the crashes we're seeing in the real world look like. >> reporter: the tests come in the wake of a rash of serious and sometimes fatal accidents involving guardrails. >> i've lost my legs in a wreck. >> reporter: by design, the head of the guardrail is supposed to absorb the impact and curl the rail away.
but a successful lawsuit against the manufacturer, brought by a competitor, alleged the guardrails were modified by just an inch to save a few dollars. >> this failed. this is a classic failure. >> reporter: turning them into dangerous highway hazards. since our first report here on "world news tonight," and that lawsuit, at least 35 states have suspended the use of the controversial guardrails and now it all comes ss down to these tests, with the official government conclusions expected very soon. >> brian ross on this case since september, thank you. to the west tonight, and to the race against time to save hundreds of sea lions, stranded. these pups just some of the record number found on america's shoreline. abc's brandi hitt tonight from california. >> reporter: tonight, this rescued baby sea lion is one of hundreds along the california coastline, clinging to life. the pups winding up alone on beaches, even in apartment complexes, thin and desperate for food. today, marine mammal rescuer peter wollerstein responded to one call after another. >> i think it was down in the rocks. >> reporter:pup found seven
miles from the ocean. another on the rocks. a record-setting number of starving pups are packing marine care centers like this one. so full they can only handle threeless coupes a day. turning the rest away. >> it's like a paramedic without a hospital to take a patient. >> reporter: so far this year more than 900 have been rescued state statewide. experts say disease may be to blame, or warmer than average ocean temperatures could be impacting the animal's food supply. they expect the numbers to rise faster than they can keep up releasing healthy sea lions like these back into the ocean. brandi hitt abc news, los angeles. >> brandi thank you. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. the road rage mystery, taking a new turn tonight. the mother teaching her daughter how to drive. targeted by another driver. well authorities with their version of what happened that night. right after the break. and watch this. the mystery lights streaking across the sky over several states. this image over pittsburgh. nasa revealing their answer tonight. and take a close look at
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next tonight, the road rage mystery in las vegas. the mother shot after teaching her daughter how to drive. tonight, what authorities are now saying. here's abc's kendis gibson. >> reporter: tonight, contradictions surfacing in the so-called road rage murder of las vegas mom, tammy meyers. initially, we were told an angry encounter on the way home from teaching her daughter how to drive in this parking lot resulted in a collision with another vehicle and the suspect following them home, opening fire on meyers in her driveway. but now, the story's changing. take a look at this missing strip on tammy myers' car. one of her sons told me that was damage from the road rage accident that lead to her death. now police are saying there was no accident. >> we do not believe there was any type of collision. >> reporter: another contradiction about being followed home. listen to what one of meyers'
sons told me two days ago. your sister told him what? >> that someone's following my mom. then my brother came out grabbed his gun and saw this car coming down real fast. >> reporter: police now saying the mother and daughter drove home, and then the mother and son, armed with a gun, went back out in search of the other car. >> her 22-year-old son came out of the house, got into the car, he was armed. >> reporter: police say the meyers' found that car. they aren't sure what happened next. both cars end up back at the house where gun fire was exchanged and tammy myers was shot dead. den kis gibson abc news. when we come back here tonight, the fiery light streaking across the night sky. nasa weighing in tonight. the "wheel of fortune" stunner. just one letter. we ask the contestant, how did he get this right? d these very burning ... needle-like sensations. i knew i needed to see a doctor. my doctor said
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well as they say, there can only be one top dog. so tonight, dan harris with the winner. so many cheering for one beauty of a beagle. >> reporter: today in new york the spectacle of a beagle being trailed by a media scrum to the top of the empire state building. the dog cally scanned the crowd for snacks. and then showed up at a packed press conference where she was fed steak. >> the beagle! >> reporter: last night, miss p won best in show at the westminster kennel club dog show. she beat out lots of canines with fancy hair cuts striking a blow at one writer put it, for
no, ma'am normal dog. today, aside from the steak, she also got to meet world famous fashion designer michael cores. >> i have cats. >> reporter: this is the weirdest news conference i've ever been to. in a good way. hi. >> she's a princess. she's a movie star. she's demanding. [ barks ] >> reporter: demanding right now. best in show maybe not best in breath. what's next for the champ? she's retiring. it's time to go have puppies. you are a good-looking girl. dan harris abc news new york. >> we love it when the beagle wins. and we'll see you back here tomorrow.