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  • Fellsmere Police(FELLSMERE, Fla.) -- A runaway BMW SUV tore down a Florida interstate for nearly 40 miles Monday, but the motorist managed to keep his cool while authorities made several attempts to stop him, telling a 911 dispatcher calmly "my gas pedal is stuck," according to the Florida Highway Patrol and dramatic recordings.In a statement a BMW spokesperson called the scenario "implausible" and said there were numerous ways in which the driver could have stopped the car. "We would be happy to work with the Florida State Police to investigate the cause of this incident," the company added.The driver, Joseph Cooper, was alone in his SUV on I-95 near Vero Beach just before 1 p.m. when he lost control, he told emergency dispatchers. Authorities helped control traffic as he careened as fast as 95 mph with flashers and a green strobe on.Asked if he could shift to neutral, he told the dispatcher, "I can't, ma'am, I tried that already. I'm trying to hold onto the wheel and talk to you at the same time."He told the dispatcher he almost hit someone."Get out of the way!" he yelled, according to the recording.When authorities tried to slow down the car using spiked stop sticks, Cooper avoided them, the highway patrol reported. The officials tossed out stop sticks again, blowing out the right two tires, which slowed the car down to about 60 mph, the highway patrol said.Dashcam video released by the Fellsmere Police Department shows an officer deploying spike strips on the interstate in their third and final deployment of strips to try to stop the car. The BMW is seen going over the spike strips which hit the left two tires.That slowed the car to 40 mph, but Cooper was still unable to stop. "The vehicle was traveling on all 4 rims with no tire," the highway patrol said.Minutes later, the video shows the SUV coming to a complete stop, and as smoke surrounds the vehicle, the driver got out to talk to authorities.At that point Cooper had traveled more than 40 miles. Miraculously, no one was injured, Lt. Alvaro Feola of the Florida Highway Patrol told ABC News.Feola said Cooper made the right choices in the dangerous situation."He did call 911, he wore a seat belt, he kept the dispatch aware of the mile markers," Feola said."Thank God in this situation nobody got hurt," Feola added. "Traffic was maybe a little light, it wasn't rush hour."The BMW spokesperson said in the statement that "BMW drivers have long been able to rely on integrated safety systems that help ensure safe operation of every BMW vehicle."All BMW vehicles, including the 2003 X5 described in this incident, employ an electronic accelerator pedal which uses software logic to override the accelerator whenever the brake pedal is pressed while driving. This fail-safe software means that if the vehicle detects that both pedals are depressed, the on-board electronics will reduce engine power so that the driver may stop safely."Furthermore, the accelerator pedal in BMW vehicles is hinged at the bottom, and mounts to the floor. Therefore an object or floor mat cannot slide under the accelerator pedal and jam it. Original BMW floor mats are custom-fitted for each vehicle, and are installed with anchors to keep them properly located in the front footwells of each vehicle."The vehicle could also have been stopped by two additional means: By placing the transmission in neutral and coasting to a stop and/or by shutting off the ignition without removing the key. This is accomplished by turning the key counterclockwise. The engine would have shut off and the driver could have safely coasted the vehicle to a stop."
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  • Teddy Fujimoto(WASHINGTON) -- The NTSB is looking "very closely" into whether the sightseeing helicopter that crashed in the Grand Canyon Sunday, killing three people and seriously injuring four, was equipped with technology designed to prevent fiery explosions, an agency official told reporters Tuesday."The crash-resistant fuel system is a very important part of this investigation," said investigator Stephen Stein, adding, the wreckage included "evidence of a post-crash fire."However, according to Airbus, crash-resistant fuel systems are "not standard" on this chopper, an EC130 B4.Such systems -- designed to prevent fuel leaks that can spark deadly fires in otherwise survivable crashes -- are built into newer versions of the EC130, such as the T2, a company spokesperson told ABC News.Airbus said an FAA-approved "retrofit kit" to add the anti-fuel fire system onto older models is available through a company called Vector Airspace.Both Vector and Airbus declined to comment on whether the chopper that crashed Sunday had been retrofitted, or whether the operator, Papillon Airways, had purchased any retrofit kits for their fleet.Papillon declined to comment, referring ABC News to the National Transportation Safety Board.Since 1994, the FAA has required all newly certified helicopters to include crash-resistant fuel systems "to minimize the hazard of fuel fires to occupants following an otherwise survivable impact," according to agency reports. But models approved before 1994 -- like the EC130 B4 -- are exempt from that requirement.Since then, several crashes have sparked fires that the NTSB believes could have been prevented.In March 2015, an EC130 B4 slammed into a parking lot structure in St. Louis. The pilot "sustained fatal thermal injuries." According to an NTSB investigation, the crash would have been "immediately survivable in the absence of a fire" had the EC130 not lacked the crash-resistant fuel system.In a similar incident just four months later, an Airbus AS350, also lacking a crash-resistant fuel system, struck a recreational vehicle and burst into flames. The pilot died in the blaze, and another occupant suffered burns over 90 percent of his body. He later settled a lawsuit against the maker and operator for a record $100 million.According to the NTSB, the 5,600 choppers manufactured in the 10 years following the 1994 decision, only 850 -- or about 15 percent - included crash-resistant fuel systems.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(MILWAUKEE) -- Three Milwaukee County Jail officials, including the former commander, were charged Monday with felonies related to the 2016 death of 38-year-old inmate Terrill Thomas.Thomas’ death was ruled a homicide by a medical examiner who said he had died from "profound dehydration.” Prosecutors say his water supply had been shut off for seven days.Criminal complaints filed Monday allege that Lt. Kashka Meadors ordered corrections officer James Ramsey-Guy to shut off the water to Thomas' cell. The complaint also alleges Maj. Nancy Evans, who served as the top official in the jail, failed to preserve surveillance video showing the water turned off and then lied, saying she hadn't seen the video.Evans faces two counts of obstructing an officer and one count of misconduct in office. Ramsey-Guy and Meadors both face felony charges of abuse and neglect of an inmate. If convicted, each face more than three years in prison and $10,000 in fines.Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm spoke about the charges at a Monday news conference, saying, “We made the determination that these three individuals were responsible for the actions surrounding Mr. Thomas’ death.”Sheriff's officials said previously that Thomas' water was shut off after he stuffed a mattress in a toilet to flood his previous cell.Milwaukee County Sheriff Richard Schmidt, who was not sheriff at the time of the incident, said it’s a heartbreaking situation, “this family is going through a horrific ordeal. I don’t wish this on anyone.”In May 2017, after hearing testimony for more than a week, an inquest jury concluded criminal charges should be filed against seven jail staffers, but on Monday only three are facing charges.Chisholm said they are still reviewing issues related to the medical care Thomas received and if there could be any additional charges.Thomas was being held at the jail in connection to a shooting at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino.All three charged in the case were expected to appear in court Monday afternoon.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump Jr.'s wife was taken to a hospital in New York City on Monday after opening a package at her home that contained an unknown white powder, according to authorities.Vanessa Trump, 40, was examined at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center as a precaution, police said.The suspicious letter was sent to Trump Jr.'s apartment in Manhattan this morning, police said. Emergency medical services, firefighters and police were called to the apartment just after 10 a.m. after Vanessa Trump opened the letter, police said.The letter had a Boston postmark and was addressed Trump Jr., a source told ABC News. It contained a note indicating the sender was angry, said the source, who did not elaborate.Vanessa Trump reported feeling dizzy after she opened the enveloped, according to law enforcement sources. The letter was not anti-President Donald Trump but addressed Trump Jr. directly, the source said.Vanessa Trump and two other people at the apartment were decontaminated by firefighters at the scene before being taken to the hospital, according to police.She thanked New York City firefighters, police and the Secret Service for their "quick response" in making sure she was safe: "Thank you so much for all the help today in NYC! I appreciate all the quick response to make sure that I was safe ! Thank you @FDNY @SecretService @NYPDnews @NYPDCT @NewYorkFBI"Trump Jr. thanked first responders in a tweet for their "decisive action" and support: "A special thanks today to the great men & women of the @NYPDnews @FDNY @SecretService @NewYorkFBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force for their decisive action and incredible words of support to my wife and family. Their professionalism under pressure made a rough day manageable.""The substance was deemed to be nonhazardous and is being transported to a lab in New York City for further analysis," NYPD Assistant Commissioner J. Peter Donald said.The U.S. Secret Service is also investigating, the NYPD said."The Secret Service and our law enforcement partners in New York City are investigating a suspicious package addressed to one of our protectees received today in New York, New York. This is an active investigation and we cannot comment any further," the Secret Service said in a statement.
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  • Courtesy Sonia Berrones(PHOENIX) -- A 30-year-old father who took refuge in a Phoenix church to avoid deportation is allowed to come home.Jesus Berrones, who has been in the U.S. nearly all his life and has five American-born children, initially turned to a church in his hometown on Thursday after his request to immigration authorities extend his stay in the U.S. -- where he has lived for 28 years -- was denied, according to his lawyer.Now, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have granted Berrones a one-year stay, the agency said Monday.“In an exercise of discretion, ICE has granted Jesus Armando Berrones-Balderas a one-year stay of removal on humanitarian grounds," ICE public affairs officer Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe said in a statement. "ICE issued a previous one-year stay in June 2016. Berrones-Balderas, who has received a final order of removal, remains enrolled in the agency's Alternatives to Detention program, which requires him to regularly check in with the local ICE office.”Berrones' lawyer confirmed that he will be able to return home this evening without ICE interference.But before ICE granted the stay, his family was terrified he'd been deported.Berrones' 5-year-old son, who is battling leukemia, initially went with his father to the church, refusing to leave, said Berrones' wife, Sonia Berrones.“My children are scared, they’re terrified that their dad is going to be taken away,” Sonia Berrones said earlier Monday.Jesus Berrones stayed in the church Monday rather than attend a scheduled meeting on Monday with ICE for his deportation, according to him and his lawyer.“I have to stay here for my family and help my son with his chemo treatment,” Jesus Berrones told ABC News earlier on Monday. “I want to have a chance to be here legally, so I can fix my papers, and be with my family. They need me.”Jesus Berrones, who works in furniture reupholstery and air conditioner installation, was brought to the U.S. illegally in 1989 when he was about a year old from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, his lawyer, Garrett Wilkes, said.Wilkes said Jesus Berrones was deported twice in the past, once after he was taken into custody in 2006 when got caught driving without a driver’s license, and another time in 2010 involving a traffic citation. Both times, he illegally re-entered the United States to rejoin his family.In 2016, Jesus Berrones was granted a stay of removal for a full year. He then checked back in with ICE in the summer of 2017 and was told he was no longer a deportation priority and that it was unnecessary for him to refile for his extensions.But in December, a month after the election of President Donald Trump, Jesus Berrones was told by authorities that he was going to get deported, with no reasons specified, Wilkes said.The lawyer immediately refiled for an extension, but it was denied Feb. 8. Jesus Berrones then sought refuge at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ.“He’s very quiet, seems very gentle and he loves his family,” the church's senior minister, Rev. Ken Heintzelman, told ABC News earlier Monday.Opening the church’s doors to Berrones is in keeping with the church’s mission “to keep families together and keep people safe,” Heintzelman said.Shadow Rock has given refuge to six other immigrants prior to Berrones, the minister said.Sonia Berrones said Monday that although her family had received overwhelming support, she had also seen some negative comments online criticizing her husband’s actions and their choice to have multiple children.These people “don’t know what’s going on in our lives, they don’t know what it’s like when someone’s taken from their country, their home,” she said tearfully.Jesus Berrones' family visited him at the church every day since Friday.“They are good neighbors, good people," Heintzelman said earlier on Monday. "But honestly I hope
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