Review Category : National News

How 7-Year-Old Plane Crash Survivor Made ‘Miracle’ Walk to Safety

Stock Photo: neil harrison/iStock/Thinkstock(KUTTAWA, Ky.) — For a young girl to be able to walk away from a plane crash that killed everyone else on board, and then make her way through rough, densely wooded terrain at night to find help is being called an incredible miracle.

Medical experts say the 7-year-old was likely driven by adrenaline.

“This is what we call the fight or flight response,” said ABC News Senior Medical Contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton. “That adrenaline, that hormone, clearly there’s an element of emotional shock as well as physical shock but if she’s able to survive the initial impact without a head injury, and then she’s just talking about a five- to 15-minute walk through the dark in a very scary situation, it’s incredible.”

The crash happened late Friday in Kuttawa, Kentucky, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Disoriented and barefoot, the girl walked roughly a quarter of a mile through the remote wooded area in southwestern Kentucky to the home of Larry Wilkins. He called 911.

The girl’s parents, Marty Gutzler, 48 and his wife, Kimberly Gutzler, 46; her sister, Piper Gutzler, 9; and, a cousin, Sierra Wilder, 14, were all killed in the crash. They were all from Nashville, Illinois.

That the girl suffered non-life threatening injuries was astonishing in itself, officials said. She was treated at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Kentucky, and released Saturday morning, police said.

“There really isn’t any medical or scientific reasoning for that,” said Ashton. “I mean, we know kids are incredibly resilient, but factors that we do know are associated with survival of a plane crash again, where you’re seated and again with any high speed trauma, whether you’re restrained or unrestrained, so what that means is if you have a seat belt on or not.”

“There’s a principle that we use in emergency medicine when there’s, let’s say, a motor vehicle accident – if there are fatalities at the scene, it gives us an indication of the degree of trauma,” Ashton added. “Clearly this is no different.”

Ashton said there are naturally concerns about the physical trauma the girl would have experienced in the crash, as well as the emotional impact of what she went through.

“When there are no survivors it tells us the impact, the velocity was significant. We worry about something called deceleration injuries when the internal blood vessels are torn. Obviously you also worry about head trauma, fractures, and then the psychological trauma – this little girl lost her entire family,” she said.

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Federal Appeals Court Won’t Delay or Move Tsarnaev Trial

FBI(BOSTON) — A federal court has rejected the appeal by attorneys for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to delay the beginning of his trial.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers had asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to push back the beginning of jury selection after their motion for a change of venue was denied. The decision notes that Tsarnaev’s lawyers were unable to make the “extraordinary showing required to justify mandamus relief.”

One judge, Juan Torruella, dissented, saying that because the district court which rejected the change of venue request only explained its grounds on Friday, there was insufficient time to review all of the information available.

Torruella notes that the decision made “is of profound importance not only for Tsarnaev, but also for the people of Boston and for all of us who cheris the guarantee of constitutional rights for all litigants before this court,” but that “due to the artificial time constraints placed upon us, it is impossible to do more than take this quick glance.” As such, Torruella felt he could not be in a position “to intelligently opine as to whether the standard for mandamus relief has been satisfied.”

Jury selection in the trial is slated to begin on Monday.

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Police Officers Salute NYC Mayor de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner at Wake for Slain Officer

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The wake for Detective Wenjian Liu, one of the two New York Police Department officers shot while sitting in their patrol car two weeks ago, was held on Saturday, and despite weeks of tension between police officers and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, officers saluted the mayor.

Both de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton were saluted by officers as they entered a Brooklyn funeral home for Saturday’s wake.

Last week, at a graduation ceremony for the other officer, Rafael Ramos, hundreds of officers turned their backs on de Blasio. Officers had been upset at de Blasio’s response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who was put into an apparent chokehold by NYPD officers during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes. The mayor, whose wife is black, said that he has spoken to his son about how to act if he were to be stopped by police.

On Friday, Bratton wrote a memo to officers saying that “a hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance.” That memo, in advance of the Sunday funeral for Liu, said that the actions of some officers at Ramos’ funeral turned the nation’s attention to “an act of disrespect” displayed by a small portion of the law enforcement officers in attendance.

“I issue no mandates, and I make no threats of discipline,” Bratton said, “but I remind you that when you don the uniform of this department, you are bound by the tradition, honor and decency that go with it.”

Liu’s funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday.

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Girl, 7, Survives Plane Crash in Kentucky That Killed Her Parents, Sister

Noam Armonn/Hemera/Thinkstock(KUTTAWA, Ky.) — A 7-year-old girl walked a quarter of a mile as she looked for help after a surviving a plane crash that killed her parents, sister, and cousin.

The crash happened late Friday in Kuttawa, Kentucky, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Disoriented and barefoot, the girl walked through the remote wooded area in southwestern Kentucky to the home of Larry Wilkins.

“I didn’t know the plane was down until she came knocking on the door,” said Wilkins, who quickly called 911 after the girl arrived.

“They seemed surprised when I said I had a 7-year-old girl here who said she was in a plane crash,” he said.

It’s unclear what caused the Piper PA-34-200T to crash, but the FAA reports air traffic controllers received a distress call reporting engine failure before they lost contact with the plane.

Kentucky State Police identified the victims as Marty and Kimberly Gutzler, their 9-year-old daughter Piper, and her 14-year-old cousin Sierra Wilder. The family was leaving Florida for their home in Illinois.

The surviving girl, who hasn’t been identified, was transported to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

Wilkins called her brave, adding that he would pray for her.

“She’s gonna need a lot of help,” he said. “I just can’t imagine someone that young going through that, especially to witness it – to witness her parents dying. It’s amazing, that she held up as good as she did.”

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Funeral Held for Arizona Officer Fatally Shot Pursuing Suspect

iStock/Thinkstock(FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.) — Police from across Arizona remembered one of their own on Friday, killed in the line of duty.

Officers paid their respects to 24-year-old Tyler Stewart six days after he was gunned down on a domestic dispute call.

Flagstaff police chief Kevin Treadway described Stewart as dedicated and compassionate

“Tyler’s positive attitude is what I remember most and several others have mentioned this as well this past. Tyler just always seemed to be in a good mood,” said Treadway. “He became a police officer because he truly understands that as police officer because we can make a difference.”

The mayor of Flagstaff, Jeff Nabours, said his city fully supports the police department.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of citizens of Flagstaff support and appreciate law enforcement, and those people lined up today along the procession route give clear evidence of that,” he said.

Stewart was on the force for less than a year, and was the sixth police officer in Arizona to die in the line of duty in 2014.

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Funeral Held for Arizona Officer Fatally Shot Pursuing Suspect

iStock/Thinkstock(FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.) — Police from across Arizona remembered one of their own on Friday, killed in the line of duty.

Officers paid their respects to 24-year-old Tyler Stewart six days after he was gunned down on a domestic dispute call.

Flagstaff police chief Kevin Treadway described Stewart as dedicated and compassionate

“Tyler’s positive attitude is what I remember most and several others have mentioned this as well this past. Tyler just always seemed to be in a good mood,” said Treadway. “He became a police officer because he truly understands that as police officer because we can make a difference.”

The mayor of Flagstaff, Jeff Nabours, said his city fully supports the police department.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of citizens of Flagstaff support and appreciate law enforcement, and those people lined up today along the procession route give clear evidence of that,” he said.

Stewart was on the force for less than a year, and was the sixth police officer in Arizona to die in the line of duty in 2014.

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Funeral Held for Arizona Officer Fatally Shot Pursuing Suspect

iStock/Thinkstock(FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.) — Police from across Arizona remembered one of their own on Friday, killed in the line of duty.

Officers paid their respects to 24-year-old Tyler Stewart six days after he was gunned down on a domestic dispute call.

Flagstaff police chief Kevin Treadway described Stewart as dedicated and compassionate

“Tyler’s positive attitude is what I remember most and several others have mentioned this as well this past. Tyler just always seemed to be in a good mood,” said Treadway. “He became a police officer because he truly understands that as police officer because we can make a difference.”

The mayor of Flagstaff, Jeff Nabours, said his city fully supports the police department.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of citizens of Flagstaff support and appreciate law enforcement, and those people lined up today along the procession route give clear evidence of that,” he said.

Stewart was on the force for less than a year, and was the sixth police officer in Arizona to die in the line of duty in 2014.

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Fiery 35-Car Pileup on New Hampshire Interstate After Sudden Snow Squall

Ben Baldwin(ASHLAND, N.H.) — Thirty-five vehicles were involved in two separate pile-ups on a New Hampshire interstate following snow squalls that pummeled the region, ABC News affiliate WMUR-TV in Manchester reports.

The accidents on the northbound lanes of Interstate 93 near Ashland, New Hampshire happened around 9:48 a.m., according to New Hampshire State Police.

In one of the incidents, police say a vehicle slid under a tractor-trailer carrying wood chips, resulting in a fire.

A photo posted by ben (@whatisithatisit) on Jan 1, 2015 at 7:08am PST

Lieutenant Jerome Maslan with the New Hampshire State Police said only minor injuries were reported.

“There were no fatalities and no serious injuries reported, including the vehicle that slid under the tractor-trailer,” said Maslan.

Maslan says all lanes on the highway reopened Friday afternoon.

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Georgia Police Chief’s Wife Heard Moaning on 911 Call After He Shot Her

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — The dramatic 911 call made by a Georgia police chief after he shot his wife has been released — and she can be heard moaning in the background as he calmly explains what happened.

“Gunshot wound, accidental,” the man says, who is later identified as Peachtree City police chief William McCollom.

The 4:17 a.m. emergency call, which took place Thursday and was released Friday, has McCollom on the phone saying how “the gun was in the bed, I went to move it to put it to the side and it went off.”

He does not identify himself for several minutes, and when he does he uses his official title rather than his name. When the operator repeats his title back to him, he says: “Yeah unfortunately yes.”

He told the operator that his 58-year-old wife, identified as Margaret McCollom, was asleep at the time that the gun went off.

“She’s starting to have trouble breathing now so it must be internal,” he said of her bleeding.

“Come on guys, get here,” he is heard saying to the operator about the emergency responders who were on their way during the call.

Margaret McCollom was later airlifted to a hospital in Atlanta and remains in critical, but stable condition.

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There was some confusion about the number of shots fired, and though he is heard telling the 911 operator that his wife was shot twice, investigators have since said that she was only shot once.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was notified of the incident an hour after it happened and have launched an investigation, as is customary when a police officer is involved in a shooting.

During a Thursday news conference, GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang said that McCollom is not being held but has been cooperative with the investigation.

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What Happened When One Family Returned to Childhood Home, Discovers It’s Surrounded by Rowdy Frat Boys

stockfotoart/iStock/Thinkstock(BERKELEY, Calif.) — There’s no party like the high-octane rowdiness of a wild frat party, unless you’re not a college student and you’re stuck living in a neighborhood filled with fraternities. In that case, those wild parties can become a huge problem.

That’s what Paul Ghysels says has happened to him. The Vietnam veteran and former firefighter moved to Berkeley, California, with his wife into her old family home, which is now sandwiched between two fraternity houses on the edge of the University of California-Berkeley’s boisterous Frat Row.

Ghysels, 61, said he has installed more than $60,000 worth of surveillance gear around his house, and has compiled enough footage for a documentary on the debauchery. He said he has captured footage of half-naked women, public urination just outside his window and plenty of other lewd and aggressive behavior.

“I have video of them throwing 1.75-liter glass bottles of vodka off their tower, at the front door of our house,” he said.

Ghysels is no thin-skinned wimp. He used to help launch Navy planes from aircraft carriers, then worked as a firefighter-EMT in the Chicago area for more than a decade. But in 1988, he and his wife decided to forge a fresh start in Berkeley.

“My wife always wanted to move back to this house,” he said. “This was her grandmother’s house.”

Their street, just a block from the U.C.-Berkeley campus, was nestled among two dozen frats, and their house sits between two of them. In the beginning, Ghysels said they got along fine with their college-aged neighbors.

“When we first moved here things were actually pretty good,” he said. “We were invited to the fraternities for their Monday night lobster and steak dinners, and I did many things for the fraternities.”

But over the years, Ghysels said things have changed. With the explosion of cellphones and social media, he said, word of parties on Frat Row goes viral and, suddenly, the weekend frat parties ballooned from 50 people to more than 500.

“The behavior was becoming more outrageous,” he said. “[The parties] were going until 3, 4, 5 in the morning.”

Then he started complaining about the loud noise, garbage in the street, heavy items being thrown near his house and lewd behavior.

Ghysels said that’s when things got personal. He said some of his fraternity neighbors began to break into his house, throw pieces of furniture on his roof, vomit and defecate near his property line, even leave him death threats on his answering machine.

When the Berkeley Police have been called, Ghysels said they have responded, but the parties haven’t stopped.

“We’re under siege and we’re not getting really any help from the university or the authorities,” he said.

And he isn’t the only neighbor complaining. Ghysels’ attorney Yolanda Huang has a copy of the long list of calls area residents have made to Berkeley police over the years concerning the frats. Huang says it’s an average of 400 calls a year.

“There’s no arrests,” Huang said. “They say, ‘Oh, boys, behave,’ but no one’s taken to jail.”

The Berkeley Police Department told ABC’s 20/20 in a statement that it “takes all crimes seriously and tries to address community concerns regarding noise complaints, loud parties and alcohol issues.”.

The university said in a statement that it “regularly works with U.C. Berkeley-recognized fraternities and sororities…on safety, wellness and risk management.” The university added that it can strip a frat of university affiliations if it finds it in violation, and has in the past.

But Ghysels said that’s not enough, and that some of the frats that have lost affiliation continue to remain active.

He and his wife moved out of the house in 2010. A relative still lives there and Ghysels keeps his surveillance cameras rolling. He filed a lawsuit against almost everyone connected to his dispute over nuisance complaints, including 34 fraternities.

“Our goal is to win in court, to have some change, to have some civility in this neighborhood,” he said.

An attorney for several of the defendants in Ghysels’ suit told 20/20 in a statement, “after four years of litigating the deficiencies in [Ghysels’] complaints…the class claims were defeated and dismissed.”

Ghysels’ original lawsuit was dismissed. He appealed and refiled the lawsuit, now going forward under a Berkeley Municipal Code ordinance, which attorney Michael Osborne said “the 72 defendants continue to defend vigorously.” The defendants consist of fraternity undergraduate chapters, housing corporations, which own the various chapter houses, a property management company, a property manager, and the Interfraternity Council, which represents frats across the country.

But Ghysels, who is now battling cancer, says he’ll keep fighting as long as he’s able so that he and his wife can one day move back home.

“I’m strong enough to continue this, and to keep it going until we have a resolution,” he said. “My friends say that it’s probably because of this that I’m still alive. You know, because I feel so strongly about this problem.”

Here’s the Berkeley Police Department’s Full Statement to ABC News:

The Berkeley Police Department takes all crimes seriously and tries to address community concerns regarding noise complaints, loud parties and alcohol issues.

We accomplish this through many different avenues. We have partnered with agencies like the UC Berkeley Police Department (UCPD) as well as the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

At the beginning of the school we partnered with ABC to conduct enforcement on alcohol-related crimes. We have done this in the past as well, with the assistance of ABC. BPD and ABC focused on four major points, possessing an open alcoholic beverage in public, reducing the availability of alcohol to persons under the age of 21, identifying minors who attempt to purchase or procure alcohol with false forms of identification and the over service of alcoholic beverages.

In addition to those efforts officers were tasked with responding to reports of intoxicated person in public and worked with the Berkeley Fire Department to provide medical treatment when necessary.

We continued our partnership with UCPD. We conducted Southside Safety Patrols, which generally run Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Teams of BPD and UCPD officers worked jointly to patrol the neighborhoods surrounding the campus. The patrols are focused on enforcing laws related to alcohol offenses. Officers also address nuisance issues affecting the neighborhoods surrounding the campus, such as large and unruly parties. We issue violations and citations when appropriate.

Also, using our website, Nixle and community groups we sent out informational flyers reminding people to celebrate responsibly.

Our Area Coordinators as well as our Sex Crimes Detectives have and continue to make presentations to student organizations, fraternities and sororities on the importance of sexual assault prevention and the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption.

Members of our staff meet regularly with City Staff, UCPD, Berkeley Fire, and other UC stakeholders to determine the best course of action or implement new programs in dealing with these types of issues.

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