tv ABC World News Tonight ABC May 24, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
welcome to "world news tonight." epic floods. record rain and the fast-rising waters. destroying homes, trucks, even bridges. a first responder losing his life trying to save others. and tonight, the tornado threat stretching across several states. on the hunt. one suspect behind bars in the torture killings of a washington couple, their son, and housekeeper. the new clues that could point to more suspects. who are police looking for? stress-free travel? american drivers crowding the highways, setting a ten-year record this memorial day weekend. we'll show you a high-tech way to beat the traffic. and, crash landing. the holiday spectacle going terribly wrong. the flag-waving skydiver slamming into power lines. all of it caught on camera.
good evening, thanks for joining us. i'm tom llamas. we begin with historic flash flooding. powerful destructive, and deadly. at least two have lost their lives and three are now missing. in texas, the blanco river rising 35 feet. more than three stories in a matter of hours. so fast that rushing water destroyed this bridge. you can see what's left there. the water is also snapping trees in half. and also overturning and washing away this truck and this riverside cabin. looks like it was struck by a tornado, but it was the water that destroyed it. the details, almost biblical. and oklahoma city, with the wettest 40 days and 40 nights they've seen. but the dangerous storms have also triggered tornadoes and
they're on the move tonight. and we begin with phillip mena near austin, texas, with the worst of the flooding. >> the door just busted open. and this is what's happening. we are inside the house. we are trying to stay calm. >> reporter: watch again. shelly green describing this frightening scene unfolding outside austin as the blanco river broke into homes overnight. >> we're making rope blankets. to hang out the window in case we needed to get on to the roof. >> reporter: water moving fast. lot of water moving through. hundreds evacuating to red cross shelters in the region. this woman describing her desperate wait for help. >> we saw what we thought was a rescue boat coming down the river. we did a cheer, and then we realized it was a car. >> reporter: uprooted trees showing just how powerful the water was. these people live just feet away from the river that washed away a home. >> it hurts to see this.
>> reporter: tonight, at least one person is dead and three are missing in hayes county following the floods. and the waters claiming at least one life in oklahoma. this firefighter, jason farley falling into a storm drain. leaving behind a wife and 15-year-old daughter. >> we suspect he drowned, got caught in the storm drain. >> reporter: back in texas, these u-hauls crushed and flipped near austin. an early-morning tornado ripping roofs off at this apartment complex in houston. more than three dozen units damaged. so many first responders using orange "x"s to signify they'd been searched. five people taken to the hospital. with all the downed power lines and flooded roads, there is a 9:00 p.m. curfew implemented.
meanwhile, hundreds of families picking up what's left. >> a lot of damage there, and the curfew, a sign of the danger. rob, you're tracking other storms? >> yes, four tornado watches. posted through the evening from the mouth of the mississippi river through st. louis. and tomorrow, the severe weather threat across the areas that have been hardest hit as far as flooding. austin, houston, dallas. and flash flood watches posted. eastern texas, oklahoma arkansas, missouri. and the next few hours will be dry in texas and oklahoma, but more rain coming tomorrow afternoon and evening. two to three inches additionally coming. and more showers and storms across the great lakes. and the east and west coast looks to be dry. but oklahoma, that weather service has issued 70 flash flood warnings this year, more than the past four years
combined, and more coming. >> hopefully they'll get a break midweek. rob, thank you. let's turn to cleveland, and the streets are calm after clashes that followed a controversial verdict involving a police shooting. the police officer fired 15 times at the suspects the officer saying he was afraid for his life. alex perez in cleveland with more. >> reporter: tension in cleveland overnight. >> hands up, don't shoot! >> reporter: police making 71 arrests, mostly for violence against bystanders. most of the arrests coming at night. >> we had incidents of protestors actually pepper spraying patrons that were seated at restaurants or walking down the street. >> reporter: the clashes coming after a judge saturday cleared cleveland police officer michael brelo of any wrongdoing in the shooting deaths of timothy russell and malissa williams.
the court saying the decision came on a holiday weekend to minimize delay. the victims' family members, furious. >> it's a tragedy because no one is being held accountable. >> reporter: russell and williams were killed in 2012 after leading police on a nearly 25-minute car chase that ended up involving more than 100 officers. police, who thought they were being shot at, finally cornered the car, multiple officers were firing and brelo jumped on the hood of their car and fired 15 shots into the windshield. >> even with iraq, i've never been as terrified as i was. >> reporter: the protests here, for the most part peaceful, sunday services across this city emphasizing the need for calm. >> we don't need burn baby burn. we need vote baby vote. >> reporter: and authorities tonight keeping a close eye on the big cavaliers playoff game here tonight, prepared to handle any unplanned protests they say, should things get out of hand. tom? >> alex, thank you. to washington now, where police say there are more
suspects at large in the brutal murder of a family and their housekeeper. ryan smith on the case, with details on a man reported to have been driving the family's car the day of the crime. >> reporter: tonight, the hunt for clues in connection with the brutal killings and fire at this d.c. mansion. this, as law enforcement sources reveal to abc news the suspect's brother, darrell, was among the five people taken into custody after daron wint's arrest thursday, and later released without being charged. wint's criminal complaint, revealing why police believe the crime required the presence and assistance of more than one person. according to the complaint the day of the blaze, the family's porsche was driven erratically by a man with short, well groomed hair, at odds with wint's dreadlocked hair. that mysterious driver, also allegedly seen wearing a neon lime green construction vest. a similar vest also found in the torched car. the complaint also noting, several neon lime green construction vests were
recovered from the family garage. could the key to what happened be inside that house? >> if you're in the house for 24 hours, what do you touch? the bathroom, kitchen, basement. you're all over the place. the bad guys touched the walls. you can't burn that up. >> reporter: still, the remains of this property could cause problems for investigators. possibly damaging key evidence and hindering its recovery. they're on the scene, sorting through the rubble. making it clear, the work is far from over. sonchts many following every development in the story. ryan, thank you. and crews are cleaning up the disastrous oil spill on the coast in santa barbara. as many as 105,000 gallons leaking from a pipeline. they're racing against the clock to save the animals, like this oil-coated pelican. barely recognizable. clayton sandell is there. >> reporter: protests in santa barbara. angry at an environmental disaster.
now rippling far beyond this shoreline turned oil slick. experts say animals are showing up as far as 50 miles up and down the california coast. >> we're keeping teams in the area as long as we have to. >> reporter: an intense rescue is now under way to save the animals coated in oil. over the weekend, this sea lion died. teams are scrambling to contain and clean tuesday's rupture. in a line owned by a texas-based company. the company says they're still trying to figure out exactly where it failed. >> we're sorry this accidental release has happened, and we're bringing in all the resources we have to respond. >> reporter: a commercial fishing area where this man makes his living is shut down. >> it knocks out a huge chunk of area until they can determine
whether or not the seafood is safe. >> reporter: miles of beaches are closed, and cleanup is far from over. clayton sandell, abc news, los angeles. and animal control officers are looking for a coyote that attacked a girl in a park. this just the latest frightening encounter between wild animals and unsuspecting families. here's aditi roy. >> reporter: tonight, wildlife officials in one california community are on high alert looking for a coyote who attacked a 3-year-old girl at a park. >> they said that the coyote charged the little girl. >> reporter: the 3-year-old suffering a minor cut in the neck. and just last week tonya easten and her daughter, 7-year-old isabella, had a close encounter. >> trying to have big arms and be scary as they said. it didn't phase the coyote at all. >> reporter: coyote sightings are common in southern california, but officials say close encounters are on the rise. nick mendoza, seen in this night time video shot last year defending himself from a pack of coyotes. >> as i was walking i saw four to five coming at me and i
started pausing. they were just coming out, like a horror movie. >> reporter: experts believe one of the causes is the severe drought. the lack of water is sending wild animals into human habitats. and coyote sightings across the country too. last month, two different coyotes spotted in new york city and two coyote dens discovered near a school in new jersey. and back in southern california, wildlife officials warning residents to keep their garbage sealed shut and not leave out pet food to prevent more coyotes from coming out. aditi roy, abc news, san francisco. next, to trouble on the highways. the number of americans driving this memorial day weekend is expected to set a ten-year record. that may not be news to you if you spent time in traffic like this. but here's some time-saving tips to make your drive home a little bit easier. here's linsey davis. >> reporter: this memorial day weekend, a travel nightmare. aaa estimates 33 million people
are on the road this three-day weekend, making it the busiest in a decade. some good news -- gas is almost $1 cheaper than this time last year, with the national average now at $2.75 a gallon. as vacationers start to think about the long ride home, there are ways to avoid getting stuck in a massive backup. with the advent of interactive driving apps like waze, drivers with smartphones now have access to travel route speeds based on real-time driving data from millions of other drivers. warning you about anything from potholes to construction. after plugging in the address of where i am going, i get three routes. look at this. a potential time savings of 35 minutes. >> everything is guided by voice, including things that are happening on the road. >> reporter: if you plan to drive home tomorrow, on memorial day monday, rush hour is in the middle of the day. >> people are on the road the most on memorial day between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. if you want to get going to the beach, maybe leave a little bit earlier. or if you're about to return home and you don't want to be stuck in traffic, it's best to
wait till after 4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. >> reporter: travel experts also giving a word of caution that traffic on tuesday may be worse than many expect. tom? >> thank you. famed mathematician john nash has died. if that name sounds familiar he won a nobel prize, and was the inspiration for the movie, "abeautiful mind." mara schiavocampo has the story. >> reporter: he was the brilliant inspiration behind "a beautiful mind." the nobel prize winning mathematician john nash, played by russell crowe in the oscar winning film documenting his genius. >> i can not waste time with these classes. >> reporter: and at times, madness. tonight, being mourned. nash and his wife alicia killed saturday while in a taxi on the new jersey turnpike. nash, a father of two, just weeks shy of his 87th birthday.
considered one of the great mathematicians of the 20th century, nash won the nobel prize in 1994. for his early, career-defining work on game theory. but in 1959, his life took an unexpected turn when nash was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. as he spoke about with pbs. >> in madness i thought i was the most important person of the world. and people like the pope would be just like enemies who would try to put me down in some way. >> reporter: but tonight, nash is remembered for his genius. russell crowe tweeting, "stunned. beautiful minds, beautiful hearts." mara schiavocampo, abc news, new york. still ahead, this home, torched when a backyard barbecue took a frightening turn in a flash. with grilling season in high gear, what you need to know. before sparking up the grill.
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welcome back. with the warm weather comes the all-american urge to fire up the grill. but before you get the cookout going, there are real dangers, as you're about to see. and tonight, we have some important tips to make sure the fire department doesn't end up in your backyard. here's marci gonzalez. >> reporter: with grills fired up across the country this holiday weekend, this charred skeleton of a home is a recent reminder of the risks. >> i smelled smoke and i looked out back and saw the house. their backyard was covered in fire. >> reporter: the flames spreading to neighboring homes. nearly $2 million in damage. investigators say was caused by a backyard barbecue. >> while it was heating up, he went inside.
he forgot about it. so radiant heat built up. >> reporter: no one was hurt. but every year, thousands of people end up in the hospital because of grilling accidents. this youtube video capturing the dangers of propane and gas grills if they're not used properly. abc's alex perez went to underwriters laboratories for some tips on protecting your family. first, always check hoses for gas leaks. the best way -- put a mixture of soap and water where the hose connects to the valve. >> there's a bubble forming right here. >> that means there's a leak. >> reporter: next, always keep the lid open when lighting the grill. demonstrators showing what could happen otherwise. and charcoal grills can also be dangerous. this is why they should always be kept at least 10 feet from your home. some reminders to make sure your summer barbecues sizzle safely. marci gonzalez, abc news, new york. >> great tips. when we come back, sharon
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if you've had a heart attack be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. back with our "instant index". so many fans remembering actress and comedian ann meara, who passed away in new york city. >> how come you never took me up on my dinner invitation? >> meara, as veronica here in "the king of queens." just one of her many roles in a decades-long career. she and her husband were a team since the 1960s, becoming regulars on "the ed sullivan show." survived by jerry, her famous son ben and a daughter. she was 85. talk show host sharon osbourne, recovering tonight after a health scare this week. osbourne is taking a month off from her co-hosting job on "the talk" after collapsing at her home, according to the "hollywood reporter," her rep saying, it's due to mental and physical fatigue. now, to a heart-stopping moment at a memorial weekend event.
check this out. three military servicemen performing a skydiving stunt. all eyes on the sky when suddenly, a gust of wind blows the jumper holding the american flag. he slams into some power lines, before falling to the ground. close call, but amazingly, he was not seriously hurt. still ahead, the baby almost left behind in iraq as her family fled saddam hussein. why she's thanking an american soldier, that reunion, when we come back. i take mine in the morning. i was trying to eat right, stay active. but i wasn't reaching my a1c goal anymore. man: my doctor says diabetes changes over time. it gets harder to control blood sugar spikes after i eat and get to goal. my doctor added novolog® at mealtime for additional control. now i know. novolog® is a fast-acting, injectable insulin and it works together my long-acting insulin. proven effective. the mealtime insulin doctors prescribe most.
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country, one soldier was on the border in iraq and made a split-second decision that changed both of their lives. tonight, the reunion, and the moment they've been waiting for for so many years. here's david wright. >> reporter: a heartwarming reunion. >> you saved the day for us. >> it was worth it. >> it was! absolutely. >> reporter: 18 years in the making. lava barwari was just a baby when her mom, an iraqi kurd, wound up on saddam hussein's hit list. the u.s. granted the mother asylum, but the baby's name was not on the list. so, a young lieutenant colonel greg peppin improvised. he swept up the baby and claimed she was his. >> i said my name is greg, so if the baby's name is greg it's got a be a relative and that means she can go. >> reporter: mom and baby escaped to atlanta, where they have lived ever since. lava barwari grew up a georgia peach. she never knew her hero, though she'd heard all about him. >> if it wasn't for him, then like, i wouldn't be here. me and my mom wouldn't be here. >> reporter: peppin, who went on to work for boeing, is in his 70s.
he was surprised to receive an invitation to attend her high school graduation. >> the day i got lava's e-mail was one of those signature days that kind of makes your life worthwhile. >> reporter: just in time for memorial day. having made possible the commencement of one life experience, he's delighted to be there for another. >> i'm happy you tracked me down. i wouldn't miss this for the world. >> reporter: a chance to thank an american hero. david wright, abc news, new york. >> and what a thank you. we thank david for that story. and we thank you for watching. "gma" first thing tomorrow morning, and david will be right back here tomorrow night. i'm tom llamas in new york. have a great evening and a wonderful memorial day. good night.
bergeron: here's a sneak peek at tonight's "afv." we dare you not to laugh. woman: oh, no! [ laughter ] oh that's gonna hurt! woman: ooh! [ whistle blows ] aah! aah! [ air horn blows ] [ indistinct shouting ] welcome to "america's funniest home videos." and now, here he is, the host of "afv"... tom bergeron! tom bergeron! whoo! [ cheers and applause ] thank you ve