tv Piers Morgan Live CNN December 2, 2013 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
♪ >> and if that hasn't changed how you will now forever see wolf blitzer imagine a younger wolf, rumor has it back in the day he rocked some long hair, played in a band, something he hopes you missed. but here is one photo we can show. i was lucky enough to be on wolf's arm along with these ladies from cnn at the soul train awards. thank you, mrs. blitzer for allowing us to
this is "piers morgan live." welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world tonight. "fast & furious," hollywood mourns the death of paul walker, killed in the crash. and a scandal for millions, take a look at kerry washington as olivia pope, dealing out her tough brand. >> if we handle this right it is a bump in the road. and how you handle it will show your leadership abilities and build your character. >> politicians and celebrities find themselves in hot water. i would ask her how she would handle toronto's crack mayor, florida's obama care situation.
all coming up, i want to begin with the big story, the crash that killed "fast & furious" star paul walker, a passenger in the porsche carrera gt, owned by his friend, both died when the car slammed into a light pole and burst into flames on saturday. joining me live from the scene of the accident, thank you very much indeed for joining me. obviously, a devastating thing to happen. not just for all his fans and family, but for everybody at this event you were at. a charity event. tell me what the event was and how he had seemed at the event itself before this crash. >> the event was a "toys for tot" annual drive that paul walker put on every year. this time, it was for the victims of indiana, the tornado, the victims of the philippines, and also the toys for tots here in california. the event was a big success, there was a great turnout.
a lot of people cars. somebody, shortly before this accident happened somebody had brought in $850,000 worth of toys, which made roger and paul so excited. you know, they were both giddy and happy and everything else, because this was a great turnaround. >> you saw him leave, i believe, in this porsche carrera, a 2005 model. obviously, a very high powered car, estimated value about $450,000. when he left, did you have any idea of how long they were going to be out in the car? were they due to come back in it? >> well, when roger and paul drove by us, i was standing by several other cars. the ford gt and former ferrari, and they said we'll be back in ten minutes. >> the first you knew there had been a terrible accident was what? what did you see and hear?
>> well, i heard the car go by us, and you know, i heard them go through their gears and drive. and i said there goes the porsche, looks great, everything is nice. and within two minutes of having them go by us, i heard a big, terrible, horrible crash noise. at first, i didn't want to believe -- and i said wait a minute, i think they were in a car accident. i called my son over and said brandon, get up to the car accident, he said what car accident, i said i think paul and roger were just in an accident. he said why, i said there was smoke, he came by to see what he could do. i said there was an accident. he went to see if there were employees and anybody else who could go up and see if there was an accident. some of paul's friends came up. and when they got here, of course you see what happened. >> we have got some clip here of paul walker's father, actually at the scene today getting very emotional.
let's watch this. >> he -- i was proud of him every day of his life. he -- was always doing stuff for us. such big gestures. his heart was so big. >> made me sad, obviously, for all the family. and indeed, as many of the fans are around the world, there is an outpouring of grief. you said they intended to go out for about five minutes, how long had they been out when you saw them go past you seconds before the crash? >> it seemed like five minutes, but it was longer. they were gone about 20 minutes. >> and what were they doing? were they just testing the car, playing around with it? what would you describe the activity they were engaged in? >> they were just going around the block. they were just driving the car -- >> at what kind of speeds. >> test driving the car. >> it was kind of hard, when --
we had a highway patrolman down on the end of the street to stop people from drag racing or doing anything else. because this area is known for kids drifting out here. unfortunately, that is just the way it is. there are a lot of little kids in their toyota, and they drift, putting tire marks out there in the street. which makes it look like they did something wrong but the tire marks don't compare to the tire marks on the car. >> so from what you see on the scene, none of the tire marks we're looking at right now could actually have come from the porsche? >> that is correct. >> and that is because the tires are much wider on the porsche, is that right? >> the tires are much wider on the porsche than the honda or toyota, the minimum size tire on the porsche is 12 to 18 inches wide or wider. >> there is obviously huge speculation about what may have
happened. a lot of speculation focused on whether they sped, a high speed, nobody seems to really know. from everything you have seen and gleaned from the scene there, what would your best guess be on what tragically happened? >> well, of course something tragically happened, of course not being behind the wheel, i am not even going to guess. because two of our friends passed in this. i know there was an investigation out. the sad thing is, they went out for a drive. we were winding down. and it was only supposed to be for a couple of minutes. and the tragic thing is, there is so many speculation about drag racing, doing donuts, dragging around the corner, that never happened. that never happened. because when they passed me there were no cars in front of them, behind them or on the side of them, they were by themselves. so it was impossible for something to make the
allegations that there was drag racing, they were behind it. >> and finally, jim, he leaves a 15-year-old daughter and his girlfriend. how would you describe paul walker, for those who didn't know him? >> well, from what i know of paul with his charitable company, the guy would take the shirt off his back to help you. paul and roger are both the same way, you know, they both were doing it to help other people. they have done it in the past and will continue on doing it. these two people were great guys. and unfortunately, this happened to them. you know, i want everybody to understand that no matter what they see here at this crash, two people died. they put on an event, the event was to help people. they left excited. and they never made it back home. they never made it back to the shop.
and the sad thing is for roger, he leaves behind a wife and two children. i saw their pain. i felt their pain when they left that night. paul walker, he leaves behind his girlfriend, his assistant, who was his best friend. he leaves behind newt, one of his best friends he grew up with. he leaves behind a 15-year-old daughter, meadow, i can just feel what they're going through because my heart goes through it. i can feel what they did, they went to the races, my son was the first one on the scene. tried to put the fire out on the car and was not successful at it. as well as newt and several other people. there were 20 people trying to put the fire out, as well as the fire department, they were trying to do their job and did a very good job at it. >> well, jim, i am so sorry for you and everyone who knew paul walker. and it is just one of those awful tragedies and i appreciate you coming on and talking about
it tonight. >> well, thank you very much. >> and i want to bring in matt malone, an executive reporter. it is a terrible story, you have a young actor right in his prime in the middle of this enormous franchise, a billion dollar movie franchise and one of his best friends killed in this accident. regardless of the circumstances behind it and we still don't know that and it could well remain a mystery, tell me about where he was, paul walker with his movie, currently, in particular, the "fast & furious" franchise. i think he was into his seventh movie, which was pretty much nearly finished, right? >> yeah, another sad part of this story, paul walker was probably in the best part of his career. the "fast & furious" franchise had never been stronger. the film won $600 million this year, they were in the seventh film, the franchise, and they were going to sign an eighth film, they were on a thanksgiving break this week, and scheduled to go back. and obviously, that is not
happening. >> in terms of how movie studios deal with this, it is not completely unusual. we had heath ledger, and john candy, and brandon lee, and oliver reed in gladiator. all of these big stars who died in the middle of filming movies. how do the studios deal with these crises when they happen? >> first and foremost, i think everybody agrees that the mourning period and letting the family grieve and all the actors and cast and crew associated with the film kind of address this and deal with it in their own way. but then they do have this question of what to do. this is a gigantic movie franchise, the movies have grossed $2.6 billion. and they have shot a lot of footage of this film. and i think what is happening
right now, they're going back, looking at what they have. they're thinking about how to put it together, whether they can do rewrites and conceive additional things in this movie to move forward and finish it in some way. >> the irony, of course, not lost on anybody. he was part of this "fast & furious" franchise, we actually have a clip of paul in his real life talking about his love of cars and speed. this is in 2001. >> kids have been drag racing, basically as long as there have been cars. i think you see the down side of doing it. there is nothing worse than 120 miles an hour, down the street, common sense, not worth the risk factor. >> it is interesting hearing him talking pretty sensibly and responsibly. and from the eye witness i talked to earlier, he seems to rule out any high speed racing or drag racing or doing tricks in this porsche. i mean, are you picking up
anything from hollywood about what may have gone on there? >> well, the thing is, everybody who has ever worked with paul walker, really said this is an upstanding guy, he is the nicest guy on set. he did have a taste for the car racing and the "fast & furious" life-style. but it wasn't the kind -- people didn't describe him as reckless, sort of the adventure type that was not considerate of others around him. obviously, we don't know exactly what happened on saturday. but the people that we have spoken with have not said this is a dangerous type of person. >> thank you very much indeed for joining me. >> no problem. and a very sad loss there, paul walker, a terrific young actor. coming up, you have seen kerry washington playing olivia pope, coming up. >> there has never been a crisis she can't handle, talking to her live. there she is looking formidable.
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>> my delicious guilty television pleasure, it is fictional, and yet, the real life kerry is here, her new book "good self, bad self." she is also the executive producer of "scandal." in the chair tonight. welcome. >> thank you. >> olivia is powerful, but doesn't really exist. you are the real deal. >> well, thank you, thank you, glad to be here, i'm in the hot seat tonight. >> now, to clarify the link, i want to play a clip of kerry talking in real life about you, because you're the inspiration, the hero. let's watch this. >> nobody told judy that i thrive on research, i try to get as much real information as i can. judy didn't know that so she
said call me any time, here are the numbers. >> in the beginning, now she goes, what, kerry? >> i'm always calling. >> kerry, it is a brilliant show. >> thank you. >> for people who don't watch it, it is very addictive. because it is part drama and comedy and really has interesting turns. >> it is, it has a lot of twists and turns, i think shonda has done an amazing job of dramatizing it for the public. and i didn't know how important sex was at 10:00, but i understand that. >> it is a lethal cocktail, sex and scandal. >> it is, it is deadly. >> in the work you do, you look after all sorts of people, from celebrities to world leaders, you have worked against presidents. what is the most difficult crisis, generically, that you mentioned? >> i think what you said, the
politics, the corruption, for the media it has all of those things that are just sexy and juicy. >> and you handled monica lewinsky, during the clinton administration. was it like what the scandal portrays, involving the president? is that what it is really like in real life? >> well, when you think about it, it is the president of the united states. and of course all eyes are watching you and how you navigate through a crisis. so it was one of those 24/7 non-stop can't make one mistake. >> well, you didn't have -- if you didn't have to deal with that, say twitter and facebook, it must be very different armory to deal with a scandal. let's say for instance, the paul walker tragedy, within minutes, the rumor mill broke, he was
doing 150 miles an hour, they were racing, most of it is dismissed out of hand and may all be completely untrue. how do you deal with that particular development in the process of a scandal? >> i think social media has made my job so much more difficult. you know, you can have someone at home blogging in their jammies, and all of a sudden it becomes fact. and it is all over the world and very hard to bring something like that back. >> and i talked to somebody regarding the israeli government, and they said because of the development in social media, their strategy is to kill it stone dead, the moment that anything happens, they hammer the false rumor into the ground as fast as they possibly can. >> you have to, you have to nip it in the bud.
if not, it just gets legs and spreads. and now you have the problem, unfortunately, of people picking it up. the news outlets, and quoting the source that ran the story. but if you don't nip it in the bud, kill it like a bug, it just keeps going. >> and alec baldwin, who loves the media but has encounters with them. let's take a look at the most recent incident. >> a lot of [ bleep ], and a lot of contentious debate. he denies being homophobic. others not quite to believing. i like alec, he has been on this show numerous times. i also don't believe he is a
homophobe, and he clearly lost his temper here, but it was in a private situation with the paparazzi hounding him and his family. you used to run corporate communications. and he, obviously being a big nbc star, if he were doing this job how would you manage this scenario? >> well, i think if you're sitting in that position, the network is going to weigh how the audience feels, they will weigh the feedback and the audience, and weigh what he said. and in this case, i think they clearly came down on the fact that they had to make a change, they had had to make a change. >> what if somebody erupts in anger, says something offensive, but you know from their track record, whether it was a politician or an actor, you know from previous statements that they're not that person in real life.
does that help? is it an easier way to manage it? >> yeah, i think that helps tremendously. because the public already knows that particular person. and so they have sort of a reservoir of good will, which i think is great. look, i think alec did the right thing. he came out. he apologized, which i think is important. i think what is going to be critical moving forward is what he says. and how he says it. i think generally speaking, american public is forgiving. >> was it right to take the show off the air after just two weeks? >> i think they made a decision based on what was important to them, and i think a network has the right to do that. >> even martin bashir came out with a comment, the information about slavery and sarah palin, which many believed was much more offensive. and yet he remained. was there a double standard there? >> i think they have to look at
each case and quite frankly where they're getting push back from. how people react to it. will it affect the advertisers they get for the show? so i think it is a case by case basis. >> talking about case by case basis, let's talk about the obama care, it is an unholy mess and you worked at the white house. is there anything that can be done to save obama care? don't answer now. your grimace has said it all. this is the quicksilver cash back card from capital one. it's not the "limit the cash i earn every month" card. it's not the "i only earn decent rewards at the gas station" card. it's the no-games, no-signing up, everyday-rewarding, kung-fu-fighting, silver-lightning-in-a-bottle, bringing-home-the-bacon cash back card. this is the quicksilver card from capital one.
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i think it is fair to say that the rollout has been rough so far. and i think everybody understands that i'm not happy about the fact that the rollout has been you know, wrought with a whole range of problems. president obama admitting that the rollout of obama care has not been his finest answers. meeting the woman who may have answers about the debacle. and the role model for olivia pope, played by kerry washington. >> i have to agree, i don't think we've seen a disaster like this in a while. there are many problems really, because this was the administration -- the president's signature piece of legislation. and i think everybody agrees
that the initial rollout has been an absolute mess. the president has apologized for it. i think the question is going to be how he moves past this. >> and the problem seems to me -- you know, it is all very well said we got a few things wrong. the real thing he got wrong is he went out there front and center and repeatedly told a pack of people, listen to this tape. >> if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. >> if you like your private health insurance plan, you can keep it. >> see, this was mr. transparent, this was i'm going to change washington, look at me, you can trust me. and that, to me, is pretty damaging to the obama brand, coupled with the fact this is all about new technology. he is supposed to be the geek technology, the guy who wins elections with the most brilliant underground campaign imaginable, and can't even run his own flag ship. >> i think the president has lost a lot of trust with the american people and a lot of
confidence particularly within the business community. i think now he has to make sure he sets expectations and time lines that are realistic. >> is he too late? has he damaged the obama care long-term? >> i think the way it was rolled out will have effect on it. >> and let's watch what was said today about this. >> i think the current administration has taken lying to a new level. >> i mean, taking lying to a new level. when you're the president of the united states that is a pretty serious accusation. >> well, it is. but look, i think you also have to look at the politics of it, which is whether you're on the right or the left, i think the thing that people can agree on, this was not handled the correct way.
it was by no means efficient and effective and you got to fix it. >> so if you were at the white house now, and you have been there before, from george bush senior to others, you're in that oval room, and you have barack obama on the opposite of you. and he says, come on, judy smith, you're the expert, what is the best way to get me out of this? >> two things, one, he has to apologize, which he did. i think the second thing is, you need to make sure your technology is right. that it is on target. >> and then you have to fire somebody. doesn't kathleen sebelius have to be sacrificed for the greater good? >> well, i think somebody has to be held accountable. >> in a scandal, somebody gets fired. >> yes, they do. anything you do, and particularly when it is wrong there are consequences for your actions. >> and if you're the president and you don't fire somebody lower down the rung, all the heat comes to you. >> that is exactly right, and it shouldn't, i think as president
you have to take responsibility. but as the president you have to hire people who are accountable. >> would you tell her heads have to roll? >> someone, yeah. >> and let's talk about who may be the next president. particularly hillary clinton, obviously, you were directly involved in a lot of the scandalous stuff -- >> i think hillary clinton has an amazing track record. i think she has a good team around her. i think she can point to so many accomplishments she has done, and people will judge her by her work. >> chris christie, is his weight a genuine issue for the american people after a fit athletic president who turned out to be not quite what people thought. does it matter that chris christie is a big guy?
>> you know, i would hope that the public would focus on selecting a president based on where they think the country should go. what the policies and the practices of the president are, and not really based on weight. >> but if you were advising him, would you say right, he obviously lost a lot of weight in the last few months. would you say you have to have a proper game plan by the time you launch a run in the next couple of years you have to be down to this kind of weight? otherwise forget it. >> no, i wouldn't say that. >> you would not -- >> i think what you want to say is that you want to be as anybody would be, that you want to be healthy. and each person decides that for himself. >> but you have to be presentable? >> absolutely, you have to be presentable. >> but after the perfect barack obama who is a perfect physical specimen to many people's eyes, does it matter? or is it something that is actually different, something who is actually a regular kind
of guy who likes cheeseburgers and beer, but appears to be a straight talk, somebody who is more of a straight talker than barack obama is? >> yeah, and i think people are responding to that, and those are the kinds of things people will look for in a president. >> let's take a break and come back and talk about toronto's mayor. is he a challenge?
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in a sticky situation. before we go any further, you're watching and if you want to tweet questions to my guests tonight. someone just tweeted, judy smith is the real olivia pope, i can see why. >> thank you, thank you. >> a lot of people are saying smart suit, like olivia, is the suit a key weapon for somebody in your position? does it send a message, look, don't muck with me? >> i hope so i think a good suit can't go wrong. >> what do you do with rob ford? he is a popular mayor, poll ratings haven't really been affected. he admits to snorting crack cocaine and admits to buying it and doing all sorts of stuff. would you take on a guy like him? >> i mean, i wouldn't. he has done all of those things, he has been trying to position himself by a youtube channel or a radio show, a tv show, which
is all amazing to me. he needs to resign. >> what is worse for a politician? drugs or sex as a scandal? or corruption? >> oh, that is a hard one. >> drugs or corruption? >> i say drugs. let me tell you why i say drugs. because the reason why the mayor here said that he used cocaine when he was in a drunken stupor, is because people tend to think that the american public will digest better if you have a dinking problem than whether you have a problem using crack cocaine. so it is a deadly combination. i mean, for you guys this case is probably a gift that keeps on giving, that early christmas present because it has crack. it has drugs, sex, and all of that. >> when you say the scandals involving weiner, eliot spitzer, petraeus, all different types of
characters in different jobs. but you put them altogether and as life has moved on and morality has changed, and you see much more liberal views on things like cannabis, whether it should be legal, should we still pillarize people in a higher office -- >> i think elected officials are held to a higher stand by far. i think people take into consideration what they do in their public and private life. now, having said that, i will say i think people are much more forgiving. and particularly i think in the area of inappropriate sexual conduct. but i think the key to it is admitting it. you have people like anthony weiner. you have folks like senator edwards. and those folks did not come out readily and admit that they had done something wrong. >> and if you do come out and admit it, you have to admit
everything. you can't leave the tap dripping. you can't go back and turn the tap back on. >> no, it is like being half way pregnant, you either are or you are not. there is no middle ground. >> when you sit down with a public figure, forget the politician, who has been caught in a sex scandal. is it embarrassing? where they have to unload -- >> i think for them, it is not so much. but for them, usually when i meet people it is at their worst time in their life. and yeah, you have to tell a complete stranger that yeah, i actually didn't have sex with only one person, it was 20. and that is sort of embarrassing, i would think. >> are you ever so shocked you just can't carry on with the conversation? >> not shocked, not shocked. you know, we were doing a lot of things, i have been involved in attempted coups and sex
scandals, not shocked, not shocked. >> what determines whether somebody could not only survive a sex scandal but become beloved like a kennedy, like a bill clinton, and yet others like a eliot spitzer or a weiner get crucified? >> well, i think one thing is the message, how you handle the scandal, and how you talk about it. it is coming out and admitting it. also i think there is a time and place for a comeback, and i also think those things have to be carefully mapped out. >> let's take a look at the politician being considered for a sex scandal. >> you have nothing. you have a pile of secrets and lies and you're calling it love. and in the meantime, you're letting your whole life pass you by while they raise children and celebrate anniversaries and grow old together.
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back with me now, inspiration for the hit show, "scandal" tweet me @piersmorgan. what does judy listen to first? her heart, head, or facts when taking on a new client? >> i would say i listen to the facts first. and the reason is because the facts are tricky. a lot of times when people are in crisis they want to look at facts the way they want them to be and not the true facts. it gets distorted there. i think the facts are important first. >> how scandalous is your life? >> incredibly.
>> anything live olivia pope? the father's killing everybody. it's out of control, her life. is yours like that? >> no, no. >> anything you want to share with me? >> not sleeping with any president. i will say i did find out my kids -- i have two sons -- they are using the show to pick up young girls. i couldn't believe it. i couldn't believe it. >> "scandal" has one of the biggest social media presences. our twitter is blowing up. the show is always huge on twitter and facebook. >> we are so grateful for everybody that tweets and that's watching and supporting the show. >> just taking a look at one of the great moments from "scandal" where olivia gets down and serious. >> the only reason i can come up with is because you were his mistress.
>> that's sexist and insulting you would never suggest scooter libby was screwing dick cheney. you should speak to someone about that. the president is awake and talking and the suggestion he is not is partisan political crap. in the past three minutes you have called me a criminal, a whore, an idiot and a liar. who am i am or am no screwing is no longer any of your business. >> fantastic. >> we love it. we love it. >> and you are watching. you are fabulous. you should come on the show and be fabulous here too. is everything in your head a checklist of boom, boom, boom, boom? >> you have to be. the thing that is so amazing that i think about the character on the show and it's something
that i try to practice in my work is that you have to be strong. you have to be honest and forthright and give options. >> do you have to be available 24/7. >> yes. >> how much sleep do you get? >> five hours a night. i'm okay. >> it's relentless, isn't it? >> if you want to have a 9:00 to 5:00, i tell you don't go into crisis. it doesn't work like that. >> do you watch the show? >> i do. >> you help produce it but do you watch it? >> i do. one day it is funny i'm not home a lot thursdays at 10:00. i came home and took a shower and put my jammies on and put my hair in a ponytail and got a glass of wine and i came and i
sat on the sofa and cut on the tv. and what did i see? olivia pope sitting on the sofa drinking a glass of wine and popcorn. it was one of those moments. >> at the book at the end called thoughts on navigating a crisis. it's a great template. a lot of people watching this. probably thinking what do i do if all goes to hell in a hand cart. one, trust your gut. two, know the facts not what you want them to be but what they actually are. three, never assume you know everything. four, the truth always coming out. know the climate and the landscape. know where you want to end up. know when to hold and when to fold. admit you're in trouble. don't overreact. you will know when to walk away. things usually get worse before they get better. expect the unexpected.
crises occur irrespective of one's fame, power and prestige. so deal with it. >> all true. >> tough talking words. >> as a matter of fact those principles i gave chanda before the show started. >> did you? >> i did. all true. those are hard. a lot of people get in trouble because we don't tell the truth. and then we make it so difficult because we put lies on top of truths and then we go here and there. >> because people when they come to you are normally in trouble and that in itself makes them emotional and they are desperately praying everything doesn't come out. is your first thought how many lies are you telling me? >> yes. >> is it human nature to start by not giving you everything? >> i think it is human nature. it's hard to tell someone the truth. really you have to come to a stranger and say i really, really messed up.
that's hard to do. so i assume when i'm talking to a client that the truth might take some time to come out. >> i have signature questions i like to throw guests on the show. i'm going to ask you what you would advise clients the type of answer. how many times have you been properly in love? what would knowing that i would ask that, what would you tell them to say? >> don't count the women that are not your wife. no, no. >> would you tell them to be honest with that answer? >> yes. honesty is always the best policy. i know it's tough but honesty works. when in doubt, honesty works. >> the other two, if i could let you relive one moment in your life that wasn't getting married, having kids, stuff like that. what would you choose? >> that's a tough one.
it doesn't have anything to do with work, actually. i think one of the moments that have meant a lot to me was when my mom was sick and i was able to take care of her. and so that was a good moment for me. i was able to give back to her some of what she gave to me. >> and if you being a control freak, what would you like your own epitaph to be? if you could write your tombstone? >> she tried to help people and make a difference. >> a terrific book. anyone who is in trouble or about to be in trouble, take this book and digest what you do. great to meet you. >> thank you. thanks for having me. >> "scandal" is on thursday nights on abc at 10:00. we'll be right back. every day we're working to be an even better company - and to keep our commitments. and we've made a big commitment to america.
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that's it for us tonight, more deadly news tonight, the "fast & furious" star, paul walker, ending in tragedy, and later tonight, rescue crews board a u.s. airways flight and then made an announcement that one of the passengers had had a potentially dangerous, deadly tuberculosis. more from dr. sanjay gupta. we begin tonight with breaking news, officials say the commuter train that flew off a curve yesterday morning just north of manhattan was going nearly three times the speed limit, 82 in a 30 miles an hour zone, four