tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC February 4, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
thanks for watching. tonight, breaking news. the deadly crash on the tracks. the amtrak train, slamming into a freight train in the middle of the night. two dead, and more than 100 taken to the hospital. and we've just learned how one of those trains ended up on the wrong track. memo battle. the president calls it a, quote, "total vindication." but not all republicans agree. >> i actually don't think this has any impact on the russia probe. >> this, as president trump inserts politics back into football. what he just said about the national anthem and the super bowl. faster flu check. with the deadly epidemic still surging, pharmacies now offering the rapid flu test. but should you still see a doctor? failure to act? the new report alleging how the system failed gymnasts. claiming fbi investigators took nearly a year to speak to the
young women who claimed they were abused. and, high anxiety. the crazy high-wire walk, between the fierce winds and the raging waves. the daredevil fighting to stay on his feet. and good evening. thanks for joining us on this sunday. i'm tom llamas. we begin with the deadly train accident in south carolina. an amtrak passenger train slamming into a freight train parked on the tracks. crews rushing in to work to contain 5,000 gallons of fuel spilled from the trains. more than 100 people taken to the hospital, and 2 amtrak crew members losing their lives. the crash, the second deadly collision involving amtrak trains in less than a week. tonight, david kerley starts us off. >> reporter: daylight showed the horrific damage from the head-on train collision, the amtrak engine nearly unrecognizable after the overnight crash.
>> we've got a train derailment. at charleston highway and pine ridge drive. if y'all have any extra people, i'm sure they're not gonna turn it down. they're taking everybody. >> reporter: the amtrak engineer and conductor were riding in the front, and were killed. nearly all of the 139 passengers suffered injuries. >> we first stopped, i thought i wasn't going to make it. this is the end for me. this is the way i felt. >> reporter: of the more than 100 taken to the hospital, only a half dozen are still being treated. >> the impact ripped my chair right off the floor. the lady next to me was an elderly woman, she was all tangled up in the chair in front of her. >> reporter: already on the scene, the chairman of the ntsb says the problem was a switch set in the wrong position. >> was aligned for the trains coming down this way to be diverted into the siding. so, the bottom line, the csx train is parked in the siding. >> reporter: the southbound amtrak train 91 headed to miami was just outside columbia, south
carolina. according to amtrak, signals were down, and the owner of the tracks, the freight rail company csx, was in charge of the tracks and traffic. but a switch was thrown, locked, diverting train 91 off the main line and onto a side track. but a parked csx train was also on that track. in the darkness of 2:30 in the morning, the amtrak slammed into the stationary train. could the amtrak engineer have done anything? do you know an answer to that yet? >> well, i doubt he could have done anything. the train was going somewhere along 50 to 53 to 55 miles an hour. we need to confirm that. but moving that fast, you would only have a second to realize you're about to be diverted on to a side track. >> reporter: csx, which was in control of the rail lines, offered condolences to the families of the two dead, and said it is working with the investigative team.
but the company gave no indication why the switch was set in the wrong position. >> let's get right to david kerley on the scene. david, from what we know, it seems investigators' biggest challenge is finding out how a switch could be in the wrong position and amtrak never knew about it. >> reporter: yes, amtrak went down these lines at 2:30 a.m., and it runs into the csx train. why wasn't it radioed, and why was the switch put on the side line? those are the questions. tom? >> david, thank you. a terrifying experience for everyone on that train. one of the passengers, matthew cheeseman, was in a sleeper car with his wife and daughter on their way to florida. he joins us now. matthew, you were asleep, but what do you remember once the train crashed? >> we remember being thrown out of our seats on to the floor, with a lot of metal coming down
around us. we remember the lights going off, the smell of smoke. and just being banged around. >> what did you do in the moment? did you call out to your wife, to your daughter? there must have been so much confusion. >> my daughter and i were laying side-by-side. when the actual train crashed, together, we were thrown on to the floor. we actually, i had my arms around her when we hit the ground. but the key piece about it, we just kind of stood up, and the amtrak personnel was outstanding on our car to try to help us get off. and of course, you can't say enough about the first responders. >> matthew cheeseman, one of the passengers on that train. we move on to the heated controversy over the memo, republican members casting doubt on the fbi's surveillance. president trump claiming it's a total vindication. calling the fbi's behavior disgraceful. the president's family and
strongest supporters backing up that claim. but tonight, not all republicans agree, including one of the congressmen who helped write the memo. here's david wright. >> reporter: the president insists the newly released gop memo "totally vindicates" trump in the russia probe, but many republicans on the house intelligence committee don't agree. >> i don't. i don't agree with some of my colleagues. >> i actually don't think it has any impact on the russia probe, and i was pretty intricately involved in the drafting of it. >> it would be a mistake for anyone to suggest that the special counsel shouldn't complete his work. >> reporter: republicans now defend the release of that memo by saying it exposed a problem with the fisa warrant process, the safeguards designed to protect american citizens from government eavesdropping. >> i mean, there is a little bit of sweet revenge in it for me, and certainly probably for the family in the sense that if they wouldn't have done this, this stuff would be going on. >> reporter: from the president's son -- >> they weaponized the fbi and
the doj to attack the duly elected president of the united states. >> reporter: -- to the california congressman who wrote the gop memo. >> i think the american people understand that the fbi should not go to secret courts using information that was paid for by the democrats to open up investigations and get warrants on people of the other political party. that's the type of stuff that happens in banana republics. >> reporter: but just three weeks ago, these same lawmakers all voted to reauthorize the fisa program, rejecting a bipartisan package of new privacy safeguards. congress passed the bill overwhelmingly, and the president signed it. democrats say president trump cannot use this issue as a pretext to fire the deputy attorney general or the special counsel. >> this would be an extreme event, and one that i say with some caution could create a constitutional crisis in this country. no one, including the president, is above the law.
>> david, president trump heads back to washington, and is now facing the challenge of a government shutdown, just weeks after the last one? >> reporter: that's right, the stopgap funding measure keeps the government afloat until february 8th. that's this thursday. if the two parties are unable to come up with a compromise, we could be facing another government shutdown. tom? >> david, thank you. next to the flu epidemic, the newest figures from the cdc finding that the outbreak hasn't peaked yet. high flu activity in 42 states, 3 more than a week ago. and with so many people still getting sick, some are turning to pharmacies for rapid flu tests. but is this enough, or should you still go see a doctor? here's zachary kiesch. >> reporter: the unrelenting flu season continuing to intensify. hospitalizations from the virus the highest health officials have seen since they began
tracking in 2010. so far this year, over 14,000 hospitalized, compared to tragedy hitting the youngest among us, with 16 children dying from the deadly strain last week alone. 53 children dead so far this winter. 7-year-old savanna jessie was one of the victims. she tested positive for the flu and scarlet fever. >> after they left the hospital, he took her home, put her in bed, and then found her in the morning. >> reporter: the scare causing people in lonoke, arkansas, to go to the growing number of pharmacies offering quick flu testing. just like in a physician's office or urgent care center. while it's not common, pharmacists can get certified to conduct tests for things like flu and strep and then patients can get a recommendation on what to do next. >> i think it's best to go into your doctor's office. we try to keep people from
infecting others, get them in and test them to see if they have influenza. >> reporter: good news for the western part of the united states, where it appears flu activity there may be starting to trend downward. but since we still have not reached the peak of this epidemic, doctors still urging anyone who has not been vaccinated to get that shot. tom? >> zachary, thank you. next to a troubling new report about the sex abuse scandal in gymnastics. the "new york times" claiming the fbi investigators took nearly a year to follow up after being presented with information that dr. larry nassar was abusing young women. that information including disturbing videos of what the doctor claimed were medical treatments. here's adrienne bankert. >> reporter: tonight, a bombshell report by "the new york times" claims that even as the fbi pursued a case against dr. larry nassar, more girls -- dozens more -- were being molested. the "times" reports nassar first came under fbi scrutiny in july of 2015. but it wasn't until september of 2016 that nassar's habitual molestation became public in an explosive investigation by "the
indianapolis star." in that window of time, "the new york times" says nassar victimized as many as 40 more gymnasts. what's more, the fbi also obtained instructional videos of nassar demonstrating some of his "unconventional treatments," now deemed criminal. >> wow. >> reporter: the "times" reporting the fbi investigation bounced between multiple offices, but by july of 2017, nassar pled guilty to federal child porn charges. the fbi tells abc news in a statement, "the magnitude of allegations brought against mr. nassar transcended jurisdictions, and we worked with our law enforcement partners. mr. nassar broke the trust that was placed in him." the number of young women who have accused nassar keeps growing. now nearing 300. including gold medalist simone biles. >> screaming, bawling, once i realized i was also a victim.
>> reporter: tonight, members of gymnastic teams paid tribute to the victims. >> together, we rise. >> together, we rise. >> reporter: nassar will spend the rest of his life in prison. the international olympic committee president speaking about the abuse for the first time, saying a special fund is being set up to help pay for counseling and treatment for the victims. >> thanks. next to the new winter storm slamming millions. heavy snow and ice from the midatlantic to new england. with whiteout conditions in watertown, new york this weekend. rob marciano, tracking it all. he's in central park tonight. hey, rob. >> reporter: hey, tom. a cold and very rainy central park. the northeastern coast experiencing this right now. raining in philadelphia, cold in baltimore and d.c. you see the heavy snow, well inland. moves to the east, and offshore by the morning rush. but cold air moving in, there will be slick spots.
near or below freezing. 0 in chicago, and another system coming in with snow at the evening rush. three to five inches, by tomorrow night, from detroit to des moines tomorrow night. >> rob, thanks. and in minneapolis, the super bowl got under way with the usual ritual of the playing of the national anthem. and every player from both teams was standing as it played out. hours earlier, president trump reignited that controversy, with an official statement seemingly calling for every player to stand. here's eva pilgrim. >> reporter: the president refueling the tensions tonight, putting out this statement. we hold them in our hearts and thank them, standing during the national anthem. putting out this statement. calling attention to service members who aren't able to watch tonight's game. ♪ oh say can you see >> reporter: it's been the most
politically charged season in nfl history. at the center of the controversy, players kneeling during the national anthem. the president throughout the season has been critical of players. >> you say, get that son of a -- off the field right now. he's fired. he's fired! >> reporter: it started with former san francisco 49er colin kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem. a silent protest of police brutality and racial inequality. and grew with other players across the league joining the movement by taking a knee, tonight, protesters for black lives matter marching around the stadium ahead of the game, shutting down the light rail. police officers forced to move them from the tracks. players kneeling seemed to die down in recent weeks after a series of meetings with the nfl, and some players. the president's comments tonight appearing to be a nonfactor. tom? >> eva, thank you. there's still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this sunday. the tragic headline involving the death of an nfl linebacker. what happened? and, what his team is saying tonight. plus, the parents under arrest. what they're accused of telling
their young son, and others, about his health. triggering outrage tonight. and we'll take you over one dangerous stunt. the daredevil losing his footing high above some massive waves. how he pulled it off, when we come back. nick was born to move. not necessarily after 3 toddlers with boundless energy. but lower back pain won't stop him from keeping up. because at a dr. scholl's kiosk he got a recommendation for our best custom fit orthotic to relieve his foot, knee, or lower back pain, from being on his feet. by reducing shock and stress on his body with every step. so look out world, dad's taking charge. dr. scholl's. born to move.
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was going to die from brain cancer. his mother, ginny long, posting on facebook in december that they were told, it would be a miracle if he was still with them by christmas. a gofundme page raised nearly $1,000, and the parents sold these t-shirts at his middle school, all for his supposed treatment. only investigators say medical records prove he never had cancer, a type of alleged scam that's duped others. in 2015, this former beauty queen was arrested, accused of falsely claiming she had leukemia and raising nearly $14,000. >> i would never think that somebody would exploit a disease to gain money. >> reporter: gofundme says campaigns with misuse make up less than one-tenth of 1% of all campaigns. the site has a guaranteed refund policy, so everyone who donated to help the boy in florida will get their money back. experts say, do your homework when donating on crowd-funding websites. make sure the site has consumer protections against fraud, reach out to the organizer or website directly, and always use a credit card. those parents are charged with fraud and child abuse. police say their son and another child are now in foster care as
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by a suspected drunken driver. it happened in the middle of the night on the shoulder of i-70. police say a pickup truck caused the crash. that driver fleeing on foot, captured a short time later. the 26-year-old jackson has been on medical leave. his team issuing a statement tonight, saying in part that they are heartbroken to hear the news. and the drone video that's not for those with a fear of heights. take a look. a 28-year-old man from brazil making his way across those massive waves crashing in portugal. part of a team of what's called slackliners that practice the extreme sport. even flipping over, his safety harness coming in handy. he's okay. coming up next, why the super bowl isn't the only game in town. the military veterans taking the field against nfl names, when we come back.
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finally tonight, "america strong." finally tonight, "america strong." the other super showdown, the unique heroes taking the spotlight on the field. in st. paul, minnesota, a big game on the gridiron. not the super bowl, but one where real heroes take the field. >> thanksgiving night, hit a roadside bomb. took my left leg. on my leg i wear the initials of the five guys that we lost from our company, from my platoon. that way they get to live forever. >> reporter: that's b.j. ganem, captain of a team of veteran amputee athletes taking on retired nfl players. >> those guys may be faster and taller, but i'm short and sneaky. >> reporter: for the nfl players, even some hall-of-famers, the game is a humbling experience. >> it's really an incredible honor. because, you know, we get called heroes so much as athletes, and it's embarrassing when you really know what happens in the real world. >> reporter: on the field, both sides go hard.
the veteran team, the defending champions. >> you'll see the competition that's out there. like, we go at it. i mean, one time i ran completely out of my leg. my leg fell off. you know, we've had other guys break prosthetics here. so we'll get after it. we've had some nfl guys hurt their hamstrings. >> reporter: the veterans, who fought in iraq or afghanistan, say the annual game is one more opportunity to show what wounded warriors can do. >> and i'm thankful that i just have a paper cut. just a below the knee amputation. compared what it could have been. it's a game of honor and a game of inspiration. it's not about us, it's about what we can be. >> the wounded warriors won the game, and continue their undefeated streak. thanks for watching. i'm tom llamas in new york. "gma" first thing in the morning. david muir right back here tomorrow night. have a great evening. good night.
across many cities across the bay area. highs today, look at this, records in kentfield, santa rosa, san jose, half moon bay, all in the 70s today, some 15 degrees above normal for february. even right now, it is still mild for this time of night and this time of year. 71 in freemont. 77 in san mateo and on santa rosa coming this at a mild 73. we're back on the air for abc7 news at 11:00. we still have spots in the 60s. another mild day on your monday, we'll get to the accuweather forecast in a few minutes, guys. keep track of this heat where you live with the abc7 accuweather app, you can monitor the forecast on the go. frustrated business owners are saying it has to stop. abc7 news reporter