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Deadly Bus Crash Kills Eight, Dozens Injured; Ravens Rule!; 30 Seconds to Make a Lasting Impression; Redemption and Reunion for Beyonce; Former Navy SEAL Sniper Gunned Down; Hostage Standoff Entering 7th Day; Hyundai Wins Big in Auto

Aired February 4, 2013 - 06:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news overnight. At least, eight people killed and more than 40 people hurt. All this after a tour bus rolls on a mountain road in California. Awful pictures.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, the night the light went out in New Orleans. We're checking in on new details about what caused the Super Bowl power outage.

BERMAN: And after the lights finally started working again --

SAMBOLIN: So with the 49ers.

BERMAN: That's right.


BERMAN: But somehow, the Ravens managed to shut them down at the last minute. Some other big winners: the advertisers, Destiny's Child, and of course you can just tell by looking at her, Beyonce.

SAMBOLIN: No lip syncing. No lip syncing, right? We were very excited about that.

BERMAN: I was. I finally got to see her sing live, which I was excited about.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman.

SAMBOLIN: And I'm Zoraida Sambolin. It is Monday, February 2nd. It is 6:00 a.m. in the East.

BERMAN: A deadly bus crash on a narrow mountain highway in California leaves at least eight people dead and dozens more injured. Authorities believe the bus first rear ended a sedan then crashed with a pickup truck pulling a trailer and rolled over.

This is on a treacherous mountain highway in San Bernardino County about 80 miles east of Los Angeles. More than seven ambulances were called to the scene. The road is so narrow that rescue workers really had a difficult time reaching all of the victims.

So we want to bring in CNN's Paul Vercammen. He is live from San Bernardino County, California. Paul, we understand that crews are still out there trying to recover the bodies.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, indeed they are, John. They are going to be here for a long time. We walked up the road about a half mile to this crash site and it is shocking. It is grizzly and it is heartbreaking.

Right now, the California Highway Patrol is huddling with fire officials and others and they are trying to get to that body count. They say so far they know that eight people have been killed in this accident.

But they say that number is sure to change, meaning they expect that far many more people will be determined to have been killed. We know that many people were treated on scene.

We also know that 27 people were taken to local area hospitals, six of them are critical. Children, of course, were hurt in this accident. It happened on sort of a straight part of this road as they came down from the big bear area. And let's listen to what the California Highway Patrol has to say about this crash.


MARIO LOPEZ, PIO, CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL: It's -- it's a terrible scene, a horrific scene. There are multiple victims, you know, there are personal belongings, personal property at the scene.


VERCAMMEN: And off camera, another veteran of these crashes, someone with the San Bernardino County Fire Department said it was the worst seen that she has seen in some 25 years. They are now looking at a possible cause of this crash.

One witness says they believed there was some sort of mechanical failure and it looks that this crash could have been worse, as the bus was right at the edge of what seemed to be a creek.

It's clear that the bus did roll at least once and had it rolled again, who knows how many more fatalities there might have been. Now, back to you, John.

BERMAN: The roads so narrow, so windy. We know the bus was carrying a tour group from I guess, Tijuana, in Mexico, any idea of the nationality of the passengers?

VERCAMMEN: No, we don't. The one thing we'd like to step back. The bus was from National City on the San Diego side. It's not uncommon for people in the San Diego/Tijuana area to do things together. So that is yet to be determined.

We also were checking on the safety record of the bus, and the government of the United States found in the last two years, there had been no crashes and this tour line had a satisfactory record.

BERMAN: All right, Paul Vercammen in California at the site of a really awful, awful crash. Thanks for your report this morning.

SAMBOLIN: Have to switch gears to our other top stories, Super Bowl XLVII or the night the lights went out in New Orleans. The 34-31 victory by the Baltimore Ravens was as dramatic as it was bizarre.

The Ravens came this close to blowing a 22-point lead. The 49ers had four shots at a game-winning touchdown. At the very end, the game really wasn't in doubt until the lights went out.

A 34-minute power outage put the Super Bowl on hold and gave the Niners a brand new life, but it was not enough. CNN's Carlos Diaz took it all in. He is in New Orleans this morning.

CARLOS DIAZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Usually you talk about a game being broken down by halves, first half versus second half, but this Super Bowl was truly broken down by pre-power outage and post power outage.

Before the power outage, it was all Baltimore Ravens. They built a 28-6 lead thanks in part to Jacoby Jones 108-yard kickoff return to start the second half. That ties an NFL Super Bowl record for the longest kickoff return in the history of the Super Bowl.

Then the power outage happened, 34-minute delay, where the Ravens lost momentum and the 49ers staged an amazing comeback. At one point cutting into that amazing lead and going right from 28-6 to 31-29. A two-point conversion failed and that's what the Ravens needed.

They added a field goal late in the game and then with the Niners within the ten-yard line, and first down, the Ravens defense stopped the Niners on four plays and kept them out of end zone, a controversial call on the fourth play where it looks like Michael Crabtree, the receiver for the Niners was grabbed.

The referee said no. Jim Harbaugh afterward said it was definitely a holding and pass interference. The Ravens pull it out, Joe Flacco, the quarterback for the Ravens is your game MVP, and of course, he is up for a new contract this year so talk about great timing on his part.

He says now he's a Raven for life. Ray Lewis ending his 17-year career, with the Baltimore Ravens going out on top, winning the Super Bowl after announcing at the beginning of January that this would be his final run as a Raven and retiring at the end of the year.

And, then, of course, you have the story two of the Harbaughs, John Harbaugh coming out on top of his little brother, Jim Harbaugh and afterward, John said the win was bittersweet -- guys.

BERMAN: You know, I have to tell you. The story out of the game without a doubt was the power outage. It would have been such a giant scandal had the Ravens lost because they had this game in hand before the power outage. I don't think if the lights had went out --

SAMBOLIN: That's a really good point, but at least we got a really good game because of the power outage.

BERMAN: You know, I think you're right and justice done I think it's fair to say.

SAMBOLIN: Our thanks to Carlos Diaz for that covering it all for us.

BERMAN: All right, 5 minutes after the hour right now. There was no shortage of big hits inside the Super Dome, of course, last night, but there is plenty of debate this morning about the biggest hit of all when it comes to those multimillion dollar Super Bowl ads.

Half a minute is not a lot of time to make a lasting impression. But for better or worse, this ad, well, it really made an impression.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are two sides of Go Daddy. There's the sexy side, represented by Bar Rafaely, and the smart side that creates a killer web site for your small business represented by Walter. Together, they are perfect.


BERMAN: It's the sound. It's the sound.

SAMBOLIN: So much play this morning so it's very effective, isn't it? And for all of you fathers with little girls, check out this spot from Doritos. It's features a little princess who finds her prince and then some.


UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Daddy, can you play this with me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sweetheart, I'd love to, but the guys are outside waiting for me.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve, what is the holdup?


SAMBOLIN: Love this. All daddies can relate, right? I actually missed that one last night. I'm happy we are re-airing it. So it's a surprise reunion and dose of redemption for Beyonce. The superstar singer nearly blew the roof off the Super Dome during her live performance at half time.

It was live at Super Bowl. She was accompanied by 135 dancers, an impressive display of fireworks, and her former Destiny's Child band mates.

Can we just watch every time?

BERMAN: I lost focus, what's going on.

SAMBOLIN: All right, so along with "Bootylicious," Beyonce also performed "Love On Top, Crazy In Love, Baby Boy, and Until The End Of Time." She, Berman, is getting rave reviews for her performance. Even the first lady tweeted watching the Super Bowl with family and friends. Beyonce was phenomenal. I am so proud of her.

BERMAN: She was awesome. At the bottom of the hour, Steve Red, the co-founder of (inaudible) and Partners, joins us to talk about his Super Bowl ad from Century 21.

SAMBOLIN: And that guy on the

BERMAN: The loud kisser.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, he is actually going to be on "STARTING POINT" as well. Stay tuned for that.

BERMAN: Turn up the volume.

SAMBOLIN: Yes. I don't think he will be kissing at least not Soledad.

It's 8 minutes past the hour here, Texas investigators still don't know why a 25-year-old Iraqi war vet allegedly shot and killed former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and another man at a gun range in Texas. This was right over the weekend.

Eddie Ray Routh was taken into custody Saturday night on two counts of capital murder. There's his picture. Joe Johns is live from Stevensville, Texas, this morning. So where does this investigation stand right now?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIMES AND JUSTICE INVESTIGATION: Zoraida, Routh is being held here at the county jail on $3 million bond, still very early in the investigation. Authorities are trying to figure out what happened at that gun range and why.


JOHNS (voice-over): Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who claimed a record 150 kills in Iraq, died at the hands of another vet authorities say, allegedly using a semi automatic handgun. What police don't know yet is why.

CAPTAIN JASON UPSHAW, ERSTH COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: I don't know that we'll ever know. I mean, he is the only one that knows that. But at this point, he has not made any comments to law enforcement as to why he did it.

JOHNS: Kyle's friend, Chad Littlefield and the suspect, Eddie Ray Routh, all drove to the gun range together in a pickup truck authorities say. Less than two hours later police say, Kyle and Littlefield were dead. Routh had fled to his sister's house. He told her what happened. She called police and Routh was eventually caught.

Routh is an Iraq war veteran. He left the Marines in 2010. Kyle who wrote the best-selling autobiography "American Sniper," talked about duty to those he served with in an interview with KTVT last year. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guys I couldn't save, that keeps me up at night. Every shot, I felt extremely justified.

JOHNS: Kyle became a fierce advocate for vets, starting a foundation to help those suffering from PTSD. Authorities say that may be why Kyle and Littlefield went to the gun range are Routh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kyle works with people who are suffering from some issues who have been in the military and this shooter is possibly one of those people that he had taken out to the range to mentor, to visit with, and to help him.

JOHNS: Kyle's friend, Travis Cox, says that's the kind of man he was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via telephone): The man he was when he came home if I would describe him as a servant leader. He served others, a humble, humble man. He -- he had a vision to support veterans and their needs, and he was fearless in that. And he gave his life doing so.


JOHNS: Bitter irony that a guy so deadly and elusive in Iraq could end up being taken down by a comrade in arms back in the states. Routh is on suicide watch here -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: So many unanswered questions. Joe Johns live in Stevensville, Texas. Thank you very much for that.

BERMAN: It is now 11 minutes after the hour. It's a story that makes every parent I know shutter. Take a moment. Imagine your 5-year-old trapped in an underground bunker for six days. The latest on the hostage crisis in Alabama, straight ahead.


SAMBOLIN Fifteen minutes past the hour, 15 minutes past the hour.

Barricaded in an underground bunker, a standoff between police in Alabama and a gunman holding a 5-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker has been going on for close to a week. The suspect, 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, there he is, described as a survivalist with anti-government views, while the bus driver who shielded other children from the gunman is being remember as a hero. Charles Albert Poland Jr. was honored yesterday.

Victor Blackwell is following all of the developments from Midland City, Alabama.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hundreds of friends and relatives, strangers listened to excerpts from letters written by children, the children 66-year-old bus driver Charles Poland drove to school every day. Teachers arrived a yellow buses adorned with black bows to honor the friend they called Chuck. REV. CHARLES LITTLEFIELD, CALLED SCHOOL BUS DRIVER A "HERO": He just liked simple things. But I can tell you this, through this time, I have heard a word used to describe Chuck that he would have very righteously have declined it. And that word was hero.

BLACKWELL: Poland was driving his usual route in Midland City, Alabama, Tuesday when authorities say this man, Jimmy Lee Dykes, forced his way on the bus with a gun and demanded to take two of the 22 children on board. Poland refused.

Deputies say Dykes killed him and snatched a 5-year-old boy.

Local, state, federal authorities have been working around the clock to free the boy from a bunker. A heater and electric blanket keep them warm. But Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson won't say if Dykes has access to a television or radio.

WALLY OLSON, DALE COUNTY SHERIFF: He's also allowed us to provide coloring books, medication, toys. I want to thank him for taking care of our child.

BLACKWELL: Negotiators have said little about their communications with Dykes, but neighbors are talking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He will walk up and down the dirt road sometimes with his gun. Sometimes he'd been working on the bunker, I don't know. We didn't know what it was then.

BLACKWELL: Michelle Riley hands out ribbon at nightly vigils, to show respect for the man who gave his life for the children and the support for the child who's being held hostage underground.

MICHELLE RILEY, FAMILY FRIEND: He's coming out. There's no doubt in my mind. I said Wednesday -- I was driving to work and I just had a peace come over me from the top of my head to the tip of my big toe. He's coming out. He just -- he just spoke to me and said Ethan is coming out.


BLACKWELL: And those are the prayers of everyone in this part of southeast Alabama. We know that 5-year-old Ethan's parents are being kept up to date around the clock. Many students will be going back to class for the first time today. Some schools have been closed since this tragedy on Tuesday.

SAMBOLIN: Victor, we heard in your piece that the sheriff says that Dykes has allowed authorities to get medicine to the 5-year-old boy. Do we know what the medicine is for? And how do we know that he's giving that medicine to the little boy?

BLACKWELL: Well, we don't know specifically and for sure, the medicine has been given to the boy. The sheriff tells us that he is not in any danger at all. We can be sure of that, he says. The medication is for ADHD and Asperger's syndrome, we're told by an Alabama state rep. SAMBOLIN: All right. Victor Blackwell, reporting live for us -- appreciate it. Thank you.

BERMAN: Eighteen minutes after the hour right now. I want to bring you up to speed in all the top stories this morning.

SAMBOLIN: Turkish police now say Sarai Sierra, the New York mother of two who went missing in Turkey, died from a blow to her head, not stab wounds. Turkish media reporting that at least nine people have been detained in connection with her disappearance and her death. Police say her body was found near some ancient stonewalls in Istanbul, but they suspect she was killed at a different location.

BERMAN: President Obama takes his 35-point plan to combat gun violence on the road today. First stop, Minneapolis, a city that's really on board with many of his ideas. The president will speak at 2:30 Eastern this afternoon.

And Washington still abuzz about this picture of the president at Camp David. The White House released it to question the critics that questioned the president's claim that he shot skeet. They're really -- it's astounding, there are already conspiracy theorist who's saying this photo is not true, not real.

SAMBOLIN: It's not real, right.

So, on Sunday, the president sat down with CBS News' Scott Pelley for a live interview ahead of the Super Bowl. The president addressed several topics from football player safety to the economy. He was asked how he felt about the recent announcement that American service women will be allowed to serve in combat.

Listen to what he said.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Women as a practical matter are now in combat. They may not get treated as if they are in combat. When they are in theater, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, they are vulnerable, they are wounded and they have been killed, and they have carried out their jobs with extraordinary patriotism and distinction.


BERMAN: So Nebraska's Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy, who was considered the frontrunner for the governor's post in 2014, not the frontrunner anymore. He's out of the race. He stepped aside after the "Omaha World Herald" found 2,300 late-night calls to four women on his state-issued cell phone. And none of the women were his wife. "The Omaha World Herald" says the calls spiked after his wife filed for divorce last July.

SAMBOLIN: In this week's "NEXT LIST", Dr. Sanjay Gupta profiles a pioneer in the field of synthetic biology who's producing the next generation of biofuels. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: People hear microbes, they think something that can cause a problem, cause an infection. You look at microbes, see what?

JAY KEASLING, SYNTHETIC BIOLOGIST: I see little chemical factories. And in fact, that's how we treat.

So, our goal here is to engineer microbes to produce fuels that behave exactly the same as petroleum based fuels.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We call them drop in biofuels. And those are fuels or blend stocks and molecules that are identical to those in fuels today.

KEASLING: I'm Jay Keasling, and I'm a synthetic biologist.


BERMAN: Don't miss "THE NEXT LIST", Sundays at 2:30. Well worth watching.

Twenty-one minutes after the hour right now. And coming up, the big wins and losses when it comes to Super Bowl commercials. Find out who got the most web traffic at their ad ran last night.

SAMBOLIN: What's your favorite?

BERMAN: The Oreos.

SAMBOLIN: Yes, I liked it too.


SAMBOLIN: Welcome back to EARLY START. Twenty-five minutes past the hour. We are minding your business this morning.

It looks like Hyundai one big in the Super Bowl auto ad wars. The ad showed a young boy and his mother gathering up a group of friends in a Santa Fe SUV to confront bullies at a local park. Hyundai saw a 783 percent increase in web traffic after this aired. The commercial far surpassed the next closest ad for the Audi A6.

BERMAN: So, Super Bowl ads, of course, they don't come cheap. The average cost of 30-second spot this year, $4 million.


BERMAN: That's a lot. That's a 90 percent from a decade go. So, which companies came out ahead?

In a check of a top search Super Bowl commercials on YouTube. M&Ms took the top spot, followed by Mercedes Benz, Disney's new "Oz" movie, Lincoln and Audi, of course, there as well. SAMBOLIN: And more than 500 years, King Richard III died in battle. Today, we find out in skeletal remains from a king, if they were found in a parking lot, if they are his? This is all happening in England. That story is straight ahead.

BERMAN: It looks like it may be the real deal.

SAMBOLIN: Because it looks like him?


BERMAN: Looks just like I remember him.