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tv   Caught on Camera  MSNBC  May 9, 2015 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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i'm contessa brewer. that's this edition of "caught on camera." richard lui. we're tracking severe weather for you. dominica davis is at the whether center for us. >> we have a little bit of everything showing up on the radar. we'll start with winter weather through the rockies. this is all part of a major system that is making for severe weather. right now denver, rain. they'll be looking at snow by tonight. winter weather warnings in
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effect for the rockies. rammed city under a blizzard warning as well? evening and tomorrow. tornado watches are in effect from colorado, into kansas, through the texas area. that's where we are seeing some of our strongest storms right now. i-20, right around that eastland area, tornadoic activity with those cells that continue to push off to the east. weatherford, decatur, be on stand by. you're looking at long, strong storms just west of the dallas forth worth area. here's a path of tropical storm ana right now. that will be making landfall late tonight, early tomorrow morning, just off the coast of myrtle beach. back to you, richard. >> a lot to watch. thanks, dominica. now back to our regular programming. >> what's it like to go full throttle? >> it's a lightning show going through your body. >> to lose control at 370 miles per hour. >> i was immediately in shock.
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i was scared. >> cameras capture speed demons who excel at accelerating. >> i thought this is it. >> and face the consequences. >> high stakes stunts. >> this was 100% unprecedented for me and unimaginable. >> that go terribly wrong. >> i can feel my eyes moving out of my head. >> get ready. >> you're thinking, go, go, go, faster, faster. >> for the ride of your life. >> caught on camera, high
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velocity. >> at speeds never reached by a car, a daredevil puts his life on the line. and this time the devil gets his due. >> when i reached for the parachute, i knew i was going. >> at utah salt flats, mother nature. >> it is one of the flattest places on earth. it goes on for miles. >> george has been coming here to set speed records for 20 years. >> it is my hobby.
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i don't belong to a country club. i don't play golf. this is what i do. >> and what he does is race the speed dee mom, a streamliner that looks more like a jet than a race car. >> >> to lose control at 370 miles an hour? he may not look like one of the world's fastest drivers, but then again, you don't know george poteet. he has loved racing ever since
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he learned to drive a tractor at his father's knee. >> on a bicycle, red wagon, whatever he had, from as long as i can remember, he has wanted to go fast. >> you had to learn to work on automobiles. and then on the weekends, you raced them. >> at his mississippi farm, he has assembled a dream car collection. >> this is a '61 ford that i built and run on the bonneville salt flats. >> he buys the same cars he drag raced with in the '60s, customizes them, and sets records racing them at bonneville flats. >> it's the biggest satisfaction that a human being could have, to know that i'm number one at anything -- checkers, or dominoes or racing. >> september, 12th, 2014, high noon. poteet is about to make a high stakes run to test a new engine. and the crew's expectations are soaring. >> in my mind, i was thinking about a 370, actually, to be honest. >> i have a very calm and confident feeling every time they close the canopy. it's like you are in a different world. i mean, it's serenity.
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>> one camera mounted on speed demon is recording its view looking back. >> we were in the push truck, and watching george go. and he was on a tear. the mile times were astounding. >> while another camera records george's point of view. >> it feels better than sex to me at my age. i've never had anything to feel like it. >> the speed demon's 2,500 horsepower engine is devouring miles of salt every minute. salt conditions were especially wet this season. >> it's like driving on ice or on the expressway in the rain. >> speed demon is on track to set a new record. suddenly its wheels start to spin out of control. >> i reached up and pulled the parachute and realized pretty quickly that wasn't going to work because the canopy and part of the body already blew off. it was that moment i knew it was over with.
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>> he was off the ground for 550 feet before he hit again, and started spinning and barrel rolling. >> george is in extreme danger. that crash so violent, it's ripping speed demon to shreds. 16 seconds after losing control, speed demon's nightmare run is over. his crew wonders if george poteet is dead or alive. >> my crew arrived within seconds of when i crashed, but i had already taken the steering wheel off the car and unhooked the seat belts and was in the process of crawling out of it.
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>> at 370 miles an hour, to walk away -- he walks with god. >> a state-of-the-art harness and roll bar helped save his life. he stays in the hospital for observation overnight, but is released with only minor injuries the next day. >> flew home midnight sunday night, and i was back at work at 5:00 monday morning. >> even one of the most electrifying crashes ever caught on camera can't dampen george poteet's addiction to bonneville's salt. he is already planning on building a new speed demon from scratch, to get that rush back, just one more time. >> it's a lightning jolt going through your body when you see the five mile marker and pull
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the parachute. you feel like screaming with joy. coming up, a sky dive stunt stutters and stalls. >> i was 20 seconds from being laying dead in a field. and later, an amped up car hits the slopes in the alps. when "caught on camera: high velocity" continues. 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, we'll replace the full value of your car. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. right now, verizon is offering unlimited talk. and text. plus 10 gigs of shareable data. yeah, 10 gigantic gigs. for $80 a month. and $15 per line. more data than ever. for more of what you want.
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a sky diver is running out of time, and altitude. >> i could see my altimeter going into the red zone. >> the only two things that separate him from almost certain death. >> this was 100% unprecedented for me, and unimaginable. ♪ >> the parachute center in encampo, california, is open for business, weather permitting, 365 days a year. world championship sky driver greg stapleton has more than 7,000 jumps under his belt. >> everything can happen in a split second. it can all change in a moment's notice, so you've got to be ready. you've got to be on the edge. >> stapleton is one of an elite group doing formation sky dives which involve the risky maneuver of holding onto a fellow jumper's chute in mid air. >> there is probably only 500 people on the planet who do formation sky diving with their parachute open. >> today his partner is katie hanson.
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>> she won't be so intimidated that they can't think and can't do. >> craig and i jump together all the time. >> hanson is recording their jump on her helmet cam. >> everybody has cameras. this is sky diving. >> stapleton and hanson are a good team with more than 11,000 jumps between them. stapleton has done this stunt they are about to tackle before, but it's the first time for hanson. >> there is a learning curve where you have to figure out what could possibly be going wrong. >> at 8,000 feet, they start their high-stakes stunt, tethering themselves together with both chutes open. >> i've actually crawled down the lines of her parachute so that my feet are actually on her shoulders. i'm already down above her. >> he lowered down the tether. all i had to do was clip it in.
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>> then, in the most delicate part of the maneuver, they separate, and start to unfurl a huge american flag, which isn't seen yet on camera. >> it's like flying in a hurricane. it's 80 miles an hour straight at the ground. >> but something goes terribly wrong. stapleton gets his foot tangled in his lines, partially collapsing his parachute. >> at first i'm thinking, oh, man, i'm such an idiot. he can't believe i let this happen. my parachute started spinning, and my arms actually got trapped in the lines of parachute, and i knew i was dead right then. we were probably doing 60 to 70 miles an hour straight at the ground. >> stapleton is in a death spiral. >> i released my end of the flag so the problem became just craig's, and then i started just following him down.
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>> stapleton manages to free his arms and release the flag. but he's losing all altitude, and hope, fast. >> now i'm down to one problem. i have a malfunctioned parachute. sky divers are trained from jump one how to deal with a malfunctioned parachute. you reach down and pull the handle and release the parachute. >> the handle is jammed, so the only way to release the chute is to cut it free. but he is spinning so violently he can't reach. >> i couldn't do it. >> fighting desperately for his life, stapleton is down to his last resort. >> i was 20 seconds from being laying dead in a field. i stopped doing what i was doing, and i fired my reserve. >> i was watching. and i was like, please clear, please clear, please don't tangle up. it was worst case scenario. >> stapleton's reserve parachute is so tangled, it can't help the primary chute slow down his fall. >> i am at 500 feet, and i have got a few seconds to think about what is important and say
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good-bye. >> a fellow sky diver's cell phone records stapleton as he plummets to earth. hanson races to her friend. >> don't move, craig. don't move. >> i was 100% sure that he was dead. >> hanson drops her helmet cam to the ground. >> what is your name? >> craig stapleton. >> where are you? >> the drop zone in the [ bleep ] wine field. >> amazing, stapleton is breathing and conscious. but does he have lethal internal injuries? >> i'm allergic to penicillin and iodine. >> are you allergic to morphine? >> no. the first person to get to me was katie. and relief in her voice, i could
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hear it in her voice, oh, my gosh, you are still alive. >> stapleton is rushed to the hospital. and, defying all odds, he is released that night with no broken bones and only minor bruises. >> at 7:00 p.m. that night, i walked out of the hospital room. >> in the hospital parking lot, friends are waiting to celebrate. >> it was probably the best sunset i've ever seen. >> it turns out stapleton may owe his life to the one row of freshly plowed dirt that helped to soften his 8,000-foot fall. >> so i landed right about here in front of one of these plants. >> five weeks after the accident, craig stapleton is back doing complicated formations. and there just may be another stars & stripes jump in his future. >> i pulled all the equipment out for that jump. and i was looking at it, and going, you know, i'm going to have to do that jump again. coming up, a skateboarder takes on the open road.
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>> you get this feeling of like holding on, barely in control. >> when "caught on camera: high velocity" continues. (mom) when our little girl was born, we got a subaru. it's where she said her first word. (little girl) no! saw her first day of school. (little girl) bye bye! made a best friend forever. the back seat of my subaru is where she grew up. what? (announcer) the 2015 subaru forester (girl) what? (announcer) built to be there for your family. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. bring us your aching... and sleep deprived. bring us those who want to feel well rested and ready to enjoy the morning ahead. aleve pm. the first to combine a sleep aid... plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. for pain relief that can last until the am. so you...
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a long boarder hits a mind-blowing 60 miles an hour. >> i started to move and bounce all over the place. >> no safety net. >> i was out of control. i got tossed. >> no surrender. san francisco area native dave kelly is deeply rooted in california's skating culture. >> i have' been skating all my life. but i really got into it when i was like 14. >> kelly came into his own in the western sierra mountains, where his family owns a cabin. >> these roads are designed around old logging trails and deep mountain passes. so there's lots of big, wide, steep roads to go down. >> kelly is the 2012 world downhill skateboarding champion. and he's gone faster than pretty much anyone on the planet. >> i wouldn't call myself like a speed demon, but i would definitely call myself an adrenaline junkie who can't get away from the rush of the speed. >> but in addition to speed,
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it's the feeling of skating that's the essence of james kelly's style. >> with a long board, you can get down low and feel the g forces press against you as you are turning your body, hanging off the board. it's like an easy thing to do, but it's super soulful. >> august 18, 2014, kelly is on a shoot for a video to launch his own line of pro skate boards. >> the weather was perfect that day, sunny, clear skies, like 75, classic california stuff. that's like free riding style, riding out in the hills, no leathers, enjoying the hill. i was throwing down for the video. that was clutch. yeah, i was skating really hard. >> and also breaking the law, crossing the double yellow line.
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in the essence of california's skate speed, kelly describes what it feels like to be in the danger zone. >> you're in the apex, the vortex, and you are just feeling utopia through the tips of your skateboard, your surf board, whatever it is, and you are lost in the gnar getting at it. >> that's gnar, as in gnarly, and kelly's ride is about to get very gnarly. >> skateboarding at speed is an interesting sensation because you get this feeling of holding on, barely in control, like right on the edge. i just got to that bottom section and just start like pinning it. >> at 60 miles an hour, a helmet and slide gloves are kelly's only protection. >> so as i turn one way, the board went. and i turn the other way, and the board just like escalated. my board started to like, move, and bounce all over the place, and then just, yeah, it was out of control. >> kelly does a push up on his slide gloves, saving his face,
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and maybe even his life. >> that was gnarly. yeah, that was gnarly as [ bleep ]. >> kelly is happy to escape with only minor scrapes, a severely lacerated knee, and no stitches. >> when you get that feeling that you are about to fall and you are trying to commit to trying to hold on to your board as much as you can or commit to falling -- i jumped. >> james kelly has raced in organized competitions on five continents, but he'll never forget the cardinal rule he learned from the beginning, in races on the streets. >> when you forget to respect your skateboard, it will toss you and bite you and give you road rash. at another high octane pasttime, a power boat catches air at 179 miles an hour -- >> i couldn't believe what i was seeing. >> -- and takes flight. >> it's like the boat was in the
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air for five minutes. >> this incident is something that you will never forget. >> oh. >> holy [ bleep ], [ bleep ]. >> august 23rd, 2014, lake of the ozarks, missouri. it's the grand finale of a 12-day celebration of speed called the shoot out, a mile-long power boat competition where pros battle it out for top bragging rights. >> it's like christmas morning. you are waiting to open your presents. you are waiting for that first big run. it's exciting. >> corey phelps is one of more than 100,000 power boat enthusiasts who come back each year. >> it's the biggest party i've ever seen. the weather is always good. it's fun. >> the temperature is a blistering 97 degrees. and the local announcer brian matthews is covering the event live. >> we had been on the air little more than an hour, and we knew we could see history made. >> the two-man crew were
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captured at the beginning of their first speed run in the new carbon fiber boat named no stress. >> we're looking at the monitor, and it's like the boat is on rails. it is a perfect 10 out of 10 run at this point. >> corey phelps has a different vantage point. >> we were anchored a few hundred yards from the finish line. that's where we like to be because they are hitting top speed. i grabbed my camera. and when i saw it, it was running 180 miles an hour. >> and firefighters are standing by to make an emergency rescue, just in case. >> when you are reaching speeds in excess of 200 miles an hour on the water, anything can happen. >> and it does. >> the nose started coming up, and i knew he was in trouble. he did a complete back flip, and then his nose hit the water.
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and that's when he got really high. >> oh! >> we have -- >> i was immediately in shock. and i was scared. >> he had to be up there at least 50, 60 feet. >> the power boat slams into the water, upside down, and flips back right side up. spectators are holding their breath, scanning the water for any signs of life. and then -- >> we have somebody in the cockpit. >> we see movement. >> first responders are on the scene in seconds. >> we had one patient sitting upright, still belted into his chair. we saw another patient who was pinned on the floor of the boat. >> both victims are rushed to the hospital. joelle is released with minor injuries. but tragically, the throttle man dies a few days later.
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>> it could have been anything, but it looks to me like air got under the nose of the boat and sent it up in the air. >> shootout competitors will feel the loss of mike fiori for years to come, but fans say his legacy will endure. >> mike is a big name out here. he has done a lot for the community, a lot for this lake, and it's not going to stop now. it's going to continue to grow. coming up, fast and furious on a slippery slope in the alps. >> for sure it's kind of scary, and i knew gonna roll. >> when "caught on camera: high velocity" continues.
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i'm richard lui with the hour's top stories. in texas, reports of three tornados touching down damaging parts of
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cisco. an explosion rocked the indian point nuclear facility in new york. the fire was put out quickly. no one was injured. it has since been safely shut down. now back to "caught on camera." a four wheel drive car with 1,000 horsepower engine goes airborne off a 20-ton ramp in one of the scariest stunts ever caught on camera. >> i could feel my eyes like moving out of my head. >> march 18th, 2014, france. for more than a year, rally driver gerlen teachery has been on a mission to break the world's longest car jump record
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of 332 feet. >> it's going to be okay. i just need to do it. >> months of meticulous planning and preparation have come down to this. >> the timing was really, really tight. >> teachery has to make his record car jump before ski lifts open at 9:00 a.m., and the weather is less than ideal. >> the snow was really melting, so i was losing grip. and the visibility was really not good. >> during the past week, the trial jumps have been perfect. each jump increasing by a staggering 50 feet. >> i really felt i was really light, and like flying like a bird, you know. >> he has lived in france his entire life. he seems to know everyone in the hard core ski resort famous for its rugged terrain at the foot of a glacier. >> he is part of our history and he has been the city's ambassador for years.
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>> he put the city on the map for world skiing championships. and if you need any further proof that being a daredevil is in his dna, just two months earlier his car crashed at the grueling dakar rally. >> he is a free spirit ready to try anything. >> but make no mistake, he is also a control freak. his engineers have calculated more than a dozen jump parameters. >> same for the ramp. the ramp had been built especially for this event. >> the morning of his world record attempt, teachery is scheduled for two final speed runs. >> my family was there. my newborn baby was there. and my wife was watching me. >> with weather conditions getting warmer by the second, he decides to skip his second test run. it's go time. but the only way he'll be able to reach 100 miles an hour is to
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get further up on an incline. 40 go pro cameras mounted inside and outside his car are recording every second. teachery revs his engine and heads toward destiny. >> i was really focused on my drive because the car was really moving a lot from the snow. so i was really focused on my line as i tried to stay straight as much as possible. >> if he doesn't reach 100 miles an hour, 160 kilometers an hour on his car's speedometer, he can abort his run at the last second. >> it was 151, 152, 153. and when i saw 160, i say, yes. then wow, boom. >> in a heartbeat, teachery is airborne, taking a look out of his window 60 feet off the
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ground. >> just to see where i was, you know? because when the car is jumping like this, except the sky, i cannot see anything. >> his adrenaline-charged eyes reflect the fear of a life-or-death moment. his car has rotated too far forward and lands nose first. the g forces are so violent, he can't pull his arms back into a tuck position to protect himself from the seemingly endless spins. >> centrifugal force, the g force, was really, really too strong. i did almost three loop in the air before to touch a second time. >> after 12 jolting somersaults, his battered car comes to a rest. his wife, lauren, doesn't know if he survived or if he has been
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torn to pieces by the force of impact. >> woo [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. >> does it feel like you could have possibly lost your other half and father of your children? and, yeah, can't explain that. >> he is alive inside the wreckage, but frightened by the smell of gas, and a possible explosion. he gets out as quickly as possible. >> i was so, so, so thankful that my girls have their dad, and my love of my life is okay. yeah. >> after an overnight stay at the hospital, he returns home. >> my shoulders was a little bit tight, and 20 stitches in my legs. that's nothing crazy. >> in retrospect, teachery says he felt the car's undercarriage hit the ground the instant he reached the bottom of the ramp.
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>> that's will make -- the car will bounce with the hit from the back. and that's what happened for sure. it's kind of scary, and i knew i gonna roll. >> even though his astounding 341-foot jump isn't official because he crashed, it's nine feet longer than the world record. >> he always tells me he's a machine, and i -- i believe it. >> and there is always the prospect of sailing into the unknown one more time. >> you just have to wait and see where i go. you know? coming up, a daredevil breaks the law, and pays the price. >> i thought, this is it. this is me, dead. and later, the world's fastest land animal chases a record. when "caught on camera: high velocity" continues. you do all this research on the perfect car.
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a road that rides along ancient stone walls is a high stakes temptation for speed. >> i thought, this is it, this is me, dead. >> february 22nd, 2014, in northwest england, just 25 miles outside manchester, 22-year-old jack sanderson rides the cat and fiddle just like he has done at least 100 times before. >> better than sex, i'd say, riding a motorcycle. it's a passion, and you are connected to the motorcycle. it is an amazing thing to do. >> named for the quaint pub at its summit, the cat and fiddle has a sobering claim to fame. according to road safety experts, it's the most dangerous road in all of britain. >> yes, come and enjoy it, by all means, but do not ride beyond your means.
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and it's as simple as that. >> according to motor vehicle statistics, 44 people died or were seriously injured here in just four years. bikers like jack sanderson know the laws and risks, but they are drawn to the cat and fiddle's hair-pin curves anyway. >> imagine being sat on a rocket that's been fired from a fighter jet. that's the feeling you get from riding a motorcycle. >> especially when you are on board a 110 horse power sport bike like jack sanderson's. >> it was a fast bike. 163 miles an hour, i think it clocked it out. >> the cat and fiddle speed limit is 50. and road markings warn "slow,"
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but dry road conditions mean anything but to jack and a friend. >> we were having a bit of a play. we were going quick. >> and it's all being recorded on sanderson's helmet cam. >> usually you get some good footage you can make a little video of. >> they don't have the road to themselves, so there is a bottleneck when they gain on another biker and have to slow down. that's when sanderson starts to get antsy. >> i was behind my friend. and i saw an opportunity to overtake. >> sanderson breaks the law and crosses the double white line, the right lane in the u.k., and can see there is no traffic coming. but the next two curves are blind. >> i noticed i was going a bit quick and going a bit wide, at which point i decided to brake. >> seconds from a head-on collision, jack sanderson is about to become the next cat and fiddle statistic. >> i'm faced with two choices. hit the car.
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or avoid the car and hit the fence. i chose the fence. >> his motorcycle gets caught up in a barbed wire fence, and the camera flies off his helmet. sanderson catapults along with it down the steep slope, and bangs his head. >> all my vision was black and white and i can't hear anything. >> lucky to be alive, he picks himself and his camera up and climbs back to the road. >> i missed the car by inches. i was lucky it wasn't a stone wall. i'm lucky it was barbed wire. and i'm also lucky i landed in a field full of grass. i ended up about 50 feet down into the ravine there. >> fortunately, the car didn't veer off the road, and it's hard to believe jack sanderson's motorcycle is the only thing destroyed in the crash. >> i had a cut on my index finger and a cut on my thumb
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from the barbed wire when i crashed into that. and i ended up with a slight concussion as well. >> his video goes viral within days after he posts it as a warning to others. >> i thought, if it just slows one person down, even just one mile an hour, it's doing its job. >> but the video's popularity backfires when it gets the attention of police, who show up at sanderson's door two months later with a summons for dangerous driving. >> i received a two-year ban from the roads, a 2,000-pound fine, 300 hours community service, and a 12-week prison sentence suspend for 12 months. >> sanderson is determined to climb back on his bike again after he gets his license back. >> it's going to be something that is going to stay with me forever. >> but next time, sanderson says his need for speed will be tamed by his experience on the cat and fiddle.
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>> you can't treat a public road as a racetrack. that's just wrong. on another challenging road in europe, a runaway rally car suddenly veers off course and heads straight for a crowd of spectators. >> translator: my only thought was, where are we going to end up? >> october 6th, 2014, 9:00 a.m. in italy, a scenic village nestled high up in the alps. cars roar around hair-pin curves in the first stage of the annual rally. >> translator: instead of going on vacations, we spend our money on racing. >> the navigator's job is to help the driver drive their renault sports car by making sure he anticipates curves and road conditions on the challenging rally route.
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>> the day started out cloudy, but road conditions were dry. and perfect for racing. >> mario fazio gets his jolt of excitement as a spectator, recording and posting rallies on his you tube channel. a few minutes after 9:00 a.m., fazio starts shooting from the end of a straightaway, where he has a good view of two curves at the top of the stage. >> translator: i ended up in that exact spot by chance. >> fazio's camera records the precise fraction of a second things start to go terribly wrong for car number 19. >> translator: i saw our car sliding towards the outside of
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the curve. i think the wheels didn't hold because we entered the curve a little too fast. >> translator: it went off the road here. and the wheel jumped this curb. >> the renault barrels straight toward spectators at 80 miles an hour. >> translator: usually a wall is a pretty safe position. the wall was about two meters high, so it seemed safe. >> but not this time. after going airborne, the car slams into the hill, and starts to cart wheel end over end toward a group of spectators. >> translator: in that moment, i didn't think i was on top of the wall. that poor girl who was sitting there was so frozen by fear, she couldn't move. >> she escapes being crushed by just inches. >> translator: it fell from here, and landed out on the street. >> after crashing upside down, the car rolls one last time before coming to rest.
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>> translator: i unfastened my seat belt and got out of the car. >> the navigator and driver are hospitalized with just minor injuries. >> translator: a little bit ahead is where the people were watching. >> amazingly, the female spectator escapes without a scratch. >> translator: the video only lasts a few seconds. but when you are inside it, it never ends. it keeps going, going, and going. >> but not long enough to quench his thirst for racing. >> translator: i think i will continue because i've always raced, and it's my passion. coming up, the world's best
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only one creature has bragging rights as the world's speediest land animal. >> you are just thinking go, go, go, go, go, faster, faster. >> so explosive, it can accelerate from zero to 60 faster than a maserati. june 20th, 2012, a van from the cincinnati zoo is transporting a cheetah named sarah to a sort of cheetah racetrack on the outskirts of the city. the cincinnati zoo is proud to have one of the world's leading cheetah conservation programs. >> we say we are the cheetah capital of the world. >> all thanks to legendary program founder, catherine hilker --
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>> this is the cat that i snatched. >> -- and cat ambassadors like sarah. >> we put a pink ribbon around her neck so i could tell her apart. she starts to pace back and forth and back and forth because she knows she is going to run. >> hilker came up with a common sense but novel concept, if a cat like sara is born for speed, then let her run. >> go, go, go. go, go, go. there are no cheetahs in cages at our zoos. no cheetahs in cages anymore. when cheetahs are forced to lie around, they gain weight, they don't look good. they lose a lot of their sparkle. our cats have sparkle. >> sarah owns the fastest time ever recorded for the 100-meter dash. and on this day, conditions may be right for a new world record. >> i think it was upper 80s. it was a warm day. >> more than 50 cheetahs have been bred here at the mast farm.
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>> they are found in africa for the most part. there is a small population of them in the middle east. but they are primarily a savanna species. they like open areas. >> hilker has loved cheetahs her entire life. >> i saw cheetahs in our cincinnati zoo in cages when i was a little girl. >> cheetahs are one of the word's most endangered cats. >> from 100,000 in the early 1900s, down to 10,000 today. that's a terrible slip. >> sarah is one of the stars of the cincinnati zoo's cat ambassador program in schools, helping to raise funds and awareness. >> we have bought land in africa to make it safe for the cheetah. we have given money to many cheetah projects in africa where cheetahs are saved from traps. this funny little zoo on the ohio river has made a big difference in cheetah conservation.
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>> on this june day, national geographic is using special slow-motion cameras racing alongside the cheetahs on a 410-foot track hoping to capture a new world record sprint. >> cheetahs are the fastest animal in the world because they are built for speed. >> hilker gets cheetahs to run fast in captivity by simulating the conditions in africa where cheetahs chase their prey. only her system uses an artificial lure. >> do you want this? >> that lure system, which we use to pull the string with the dog pulley on it -- so that pulls the string fast enough that the cat can chase it. good girl. >> the lure's movement has to be realistic enough to mimic actual
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prey on the run or the cheetah will lose interest and its reward of meat. >> they must want that thing more than anything in the world. >> you have to make sure that that lure, that prey, is just within reaching distance of that cat. so every stride they take when they are running they think they are just about there and just going to get it. >> sarah takes off, but is the temptation of the lure enough to break her own world record? ears tucked back, she races against the clock. >> she was at 62 miles an hour and still accelerating. >> 5.95. she broke her own speed. >> sarah crushes her own world record for the 100-meter dash with a time of 5.95 seconds. >> 11 years old, she breaks her own record, going uphill.
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>> that's amazing. >> that's pretty old for a cat. so we always tell people it would be like your grandmother beating usain bolts at the 100-meter dash. >> unfortunately, national geographic's cameras miss sarah's record sprint. >> trying to follow them, focus on them. that's the most challenging animal to get video of. >> but their cameras are able to record precious seconds of astounding images of other runs that capture the mystery and magic of what makes cheetahs the world's fastest land animal. >> i think the most important thing we learned for us, for that video foot an was the head.
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the head never moved in the entire run. >> the nails are helping them dig into the earth. >> then you see the hind legs coming clear up the side of the shoulders of the cheetah. no other animal can do that. and you look at that and you think, oh, my goodness, that must never go away. we must never say good-bye to that. >> sarah has taught her human companion what's in the heart of every cheetah kept in a cage at a zoo. >> cheetah would say if you do not let me run, you will not let my spirit out of its body, and i will never ever feel that wind in my face. i'll never feel the pounding of my feet on the ground. i will never feel those things if you don't allow me to run.


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