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Pope John Paul II To Be Made A Saint; Escaped Inmate Recaptured; Heroic Effort Saves Dad; Interview with Pamela Knox; Parasailing Accident Injures Teens; "Yeezus" Sales Plummet; Gandolfini Leaves Large Estate; Long Ranger's Tough Week

Aired July 5, 2013 - 07:30   ET


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Friday, July 5th. Thanks for joining us. I'm Kate Bolduan.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Chris Cuomo. We're joined by the hand raising Michaela Pereira always first in every class.

BOLDUAN: Very good student. Coming up on NEW DAY, you're going to hear from a woman who was sucked under the earth, it's amazing video. And she made it out and she is going to be joining us live on NEW DAY to talk about this absolutely unreal experience.

CUOMO: I'll tell you we had a great day here on the Fourth of July. Hope you were having a good time. Look who showed up, Adam Sandler.

BOLDUAN: Who is that?

CUOMO: That's gravity of NEW DAY, drew him in.

BOLDUAN: Or a fabulous coincident that he was walking by at that time.

CUOMO: He was walking by, had two beautiful daughters with him. He was nice enough to come on, made fun of me, easy enough to do, but it was great to have him here on NEW DAY, really nice of him.

BOLDUAN: Good man.

CUOMO: Good a man as I've met in the business.

BOLDUAN: The girls got the Lady Liberty purses, the clutches. All right, lots of news happening so let's get straight to Michaela for the top news.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, let's do that. Breaking news now, the late Pope John Paul II is going to be a saint. The Vatican making that announcement a short time ago, just days after a commission of cardinals confirmed that he performed two miracles during his life time. John Paul not the only pope to be sainted. He'll be canonized with another former pontiff, John XXIII known as the good pope. The two popes could be canonized on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Concepcion.

Also topping the news, fireworks gone wild in Simi Valley, California, fireworks actually shot into the crowd last night. Witnesses say terrified onlookers just started running. Twenty people in total were hurt there. In Colorado conditions so dry that fireworks sparked several small fires. You can actually see the flames in the background of some of these images. They were able to put those fires out quickly.

In Plattsburg, New York, six people were hurt at the Airborne Speedway on Wednesday when a Shell's remnants exploded near a viewing stand.

An escaped inmate has been recaptured in Ohio and it's thanks to some alert store workers and one tough customer. The workers say they knew the man was convicted sexual predator James Meyers instantly because they had a picture near the register. The customer did, too. They all kept their cool. The customer came from behind and tackled Meyers. He is back in custody.

The 8-year-old Joshua Garcia doing his best Superman impersonation, saving his father's life after the car crashed into a river in Massachusetts. Dad was trapped but Joshua got out, swam to shore, and ran a mile home to get help. Amazing, right? Well, there's a dark side to the story. A state agency's taken temporary custody of Joshua, alleging neglect, it's now investigating the family and the circumstances of the crash and why the two were out driving at 3:00 a.m.

And lastly, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut breaking his own record of the Annual Nathan's Hotdog eating contest, he did again. This time, 69 hotdogs and buns in 10 minutes. This was the seventh time Chestnut finished as top dog at Coney Island. Sonia Thomas, whose nickname is the Black Widow, also defended her title eating almost 37 hotdogs in the ladies' competition.

CUOMO: Black widow.

BOLDUAN: I'm very impressed. It makes you a little --

PEREIRA: Uncomfortable.

BOLDUAN: -- a little uncomfortable while you watch that.

PEREIRA: Nauseous.

PEREIRA: The black widow. I'd be worried about my own health.

BOLDUAN: What do they do the rest of the 4th?

PEREIRA: I think for the rest of the year, you have to do salad.

BOLDUAN: I don't think they eat hotdogs for the rest of the year.

CUOMO: I think they do. I think they practice like crazy. It become like a real competition. It really has. All right, so you remember we were showing you pictures of the woman who got swallowed up in the sinkhole yesterday? Well, of course, thankfully she survived after hours down there. Pamela Knox is her name and she is going to be speaking exclusively to NEW DAY, to Kate in just a few moments. There she is. Great to see you. Glad everything is good with you. First let's take you through the back story on what happened to her. Take a look and listen.


PAMELA KNOX, SURVIVED SINKHOLE COLLAPSE: As the car was falling, you know, I kept calling on the name of Jesus and I kept saying, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hard to believe, that's what 60-year-old Pamela Knox thought as she sat in her trapped car. She had plummeted nearly 20 feet into a sinkhole on a busy Toledo, Ohio street, the result of a suspected broken water main. Frantic witnesses called 911.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Yes, a call fell through the street. A car fell through the street of Detroit and Land Croft. A hole opened up.

UNIDENTIFIED DISPATCHER: What kind of vehicle?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I don't know. A tan Malibu is in the hole. It sunk in.

KNOX: It wasn't like that was over. No, it was falling and rolling.

VALENCIA: Knox doesn't remember how long her car was stuck on shaky ground in the sinkhole before a team of firefighters rushed to her rescue. They helped Knox climb up a ladder to safety. A city official blames the collapse on an outdated sewage system built with brick in the 1890s. They tell CNN they are working on trying to find the source of the failure. Knox says she survived unharmed because of her strong faith.

KNOX: Thankfulness, just thankfulness. Just thankful that I am a child of God, thankful.

VALENCIA: Knox's husband was outside the sinkhole watching situation developed. The whole time he says he was worried about a pile-up. The fact that she survived, he's calling it a miracle. Nick Valencia, CNN, Atlanta.


BOLDUAN: All right, Nick, thank you. Pamela Knox is joining us live this morning. Pamela, thank you so much for coming in and thank goodness you're OK and you can be here to speak with us. I mean, first off, how are you?

KNOX: I am doing a lot better today. I'm just thankful that I did not sustain any serious injuries. Just a lot of soreness and I'm simply taking aspirin or ibuprofen for that and other than that, you know, I'm doing OK.

BOLDUAN: That's so thankful that you are OK, but let's go back. The video and the pictures are really stunning. Take me back to the moment. You're in your car, you're driving and then what happened? What did you feel?

KNOX: Well, I was, you know, I had just finished doing some errands and as I was driving down the street and it's an area that I've driven down before, you know, over many, many years, all of a sudden the street underneath me caved in and the street gave way. And I found myself falling in my car into this deep, deep hole.

BOLDUAN: What did you think in that moment?

KNOX: I couldn't understand what was going on. You know I didn't know what was happening. I'm like, my gosh, I'm actually falling, is this really happening to me? And as I was falling like that, you know, I just started calling out on the name of Jesus, you know? I kept saying, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, you know, over and over again because I -- you know I didn't know.

BOLDUAN: What did you think --

KNOX: Of course, I was scared and terrified.

BOLDUAN: Of course, you were. What did you think when you finally settled after you had fallen through the road? What did you think when you looked around and you realized that you were under the road?

KNOX: You know, well, at first you know I was unsure, very unsure, you know, is it over? Did I actually stop falling or did the car come to a rest? And then it's going to continue to fall again? You know I really did not know. As I came to a stopping point I said, OK, I need to locate my cell phone if I can and I saw it was nearby. I grabbed my cell phone and I immediately called my husband right away and told him what had happened and he came rushing to the scene.

BOLDUAN: Now when -- it's one thing of course to experience it and -- I can't even imagine living through what you did -- but it's another thing to look at pictures and look at video. Have you had an opportunity to look back at the video or the pictures of what happened to you? What do you think when you see that?

KNOX: At first, you know, I was very apprehensive about looking at it. I didn't want to watch any of it, but then you know, I got better with that and I started looking at it and it was just so unbelievable, so incredible. And, you know, like my husband said, it is truly a miracle from God, you know? I thank the Lord, you know, that my strong faith kept me and kept me in sound mind during that time.

Because while I was in that hole I also heard you know the sound of rushing water and I turned around and looked back and the backseat of my car was filling up with water. So apparently when I fell you know a water line had broken. Yes. You know, and all of this water started pouring out and it was filling up my car. I'm like, my gosh, I could possibly drown in all of this.

BOLDUAN: What do you think now when you get back behind the wheel? I'm sure it's a very different experience when you start driving again.

KNOX: I haven't been behind the wheel yet. Well, of course, my car is, you know, just so damaged. I don't have a vehicle to drive. I'll probably be picking up like a loaner car or something through my insurance to get around. I believe I'll be OK, you know, driving again. I don't have a fear of driving or anything like that.

BOLDUAN: All right, well, Pamela, I'm just thankful you're able to be here and speak with us and bumps and bruises and some soreness aside that you are OK. It's great to speak with you. Thank you so much.

KNOX: You're so welcome.


CUOMO: What an amazing story that she made it through. That's great. Great interview, Kate.

Coming up on NEW DAY, remember this parasailing gone terribly wrong? Well, new questions about the company that owns the boat involved. We'll have that for you right after the break.


BOLDUAN: An update now on a terrifying story that we told you about this week. This video, it's terrifying to look at, captures a moment when two teens were critically injured as their parasail broke free of a tow line and crashed into a nearby hotel. Now there are some new troubling allegations against that parasailing company that they used that was operating that at the time. John Berman has been looking into this.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kate. Aren't those pictures awful? I can't believe it, every time I see it. We are learning from reports this morning that this is not the first time that the parasailing company, Aquatic Adventures, has been connected to an accident.


BERMAN (voice-over): No matter how many times you've seen this video, it is still painful to watch. The 17-year-olds Alexis Fairchild and Sidney Good are still in the hospital. After taking this parasailing ride in Panama City Beach, Florida, on Monday. Botch after their tow rope snaps free, the wind gusts sweeping them away, smashing them into two condominiums right before they plummet into this parking lot, suffering severe brain trauma, back injuries and for Sidney Good a broken neck.

We've learned from WJHG that this isn't the first accident on record for the parasailing company, Aquatic Adventures.

WES PITTMAN, PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER: The case involving the two girls from Indiana who were hurt is strikingly similar to the case that I have against this company. BERMAN: Personal injury lawyer, Wes Pittman, says his two clients say the tow cable came loose while they were parasailing with Aquatic Adventures in 2009. Luckily they landed in the ocean. Aquatic Adventures could not be reached for comments about either incident, but they released this statement about this week's accident on Wednesday.

"While we adhere to best practices to minimize the risk associated with water sport activities sudden weather conditions can and do occur. As the full investigation is ongoing, we are unable to comment further at this time."

The teens' families say Alexis Fairchild is now stable, but Sidney Good is still in critical condition, both girls facing a long road to recovery.

MIKE FAIRCHILD, ALEXIS FAIRCHILD'S FATHER: When she was walking on her therapy, she was walking past Sidney's room and was able to walk in, say hi, hold her hand, Sidney was able to raise her hand, you know, it's a great moment.


BERMAN: We're pulling for them, praying for those girls. Aquatic Adventures has one of the largest parasail fleets in the country. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are now investigating the cause of this accident.

BOLDUAN: Its one of those things they wanted to have a fun moment while they are on vacation. You know, it just -- and it turns out like this.

CUOMO: They are lucky to be alive. Did you see how the date on the apartment building was dented? The windshield was crushed. I mean, the fact that they're alive is amazing and I hope they get to the bottom of it because so many people enjoy parasailing. JB, thank you very much for bringing this. It's a heavy story. So you know what we need?

BOLDUAN: I know exactly what you need.

CUOMO: A dose of the good stuff. Engagement photo shoot in South Eastern Pennsylvania interrupted, that's bad but the bride-to-be becomes a real hero. Take a look at this.


CUOMO (voice-over): Becki Salmon and her fiance, Matt Werner, were posing for these sunny engagement photos just moments before near catastrophe. All of a sudden a little boy playing in the background wanders too far into a creek that was deeper than usual because of recent rain. The bride-to-be springs into action.

BECKI SALMON, LIFEGUARD AND PARAMEDIC: Struggling to get back to the surface. His head went back. He was bobbing up and down. I knew that he was going under. If I had my wedding dress on that day, that's what I would have been in the water in.

CUOMO: Photographer Ken Beerger, kept snapping, capturing it all.

KEN BEERGER, PHOTOGRAPHER: Matt said we have to get him. I turned to my right and Becki, she's out of her sandals, doing the dive into the water.

SALMON: It was almost over my head where we were. I had to swim to him. I grabbed him, pulled him up into me, he started throwing up water.

CUOMO: Talk about being in the right place at right time. Becki is a trained lifeguard and paramedic. Thanks to that she never thought twice.

MATT WERNER, FIANCE: She's been very humble through the process and she's not wanted to take credit that she deserves, but she definitely deserves recognition.

CUOMO: A truly picture perfect rescue.


CUOMO: Some say there are no coincidences, you know? Terrible the kid gets into a bad situation, but to have someone there who just not has the heart, but the head for the situation.

BOLDUAN: Not just there, but had the training, too.

PEREIRA: It kicked in immediately.

BOLDUAN: That scary situation is a great omen how that marriage is going to be.

CUOMO: The mother obviously also ran in there. That's important to know. The kid wasn't alone, but Becky was there and the right person to be there. I must say though, John Berman has the line of the day so far. Becky's last name is Salmon, and Berman says, Salmon, by the river, swimming upstream to help a child.

BOLDUAN: A good one-liner.

CUOMO: I hate I didn't think about it when I was writing the piece.

PERPEIRA: The porpoise.

CUOMO: He did it on porpoise.

BOLDUAN: Funny still. About 24 hours later, it's still hilarious.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, it was supposed to be so a summer hit so why is the poor "Lone Ranger" bombing at the Box Office? I don't know, but someone else will.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY, everyone. It is time for the Pop Four and that means Nischelle Turner is here.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: I have a lot of good stuff in the Pop Four today. So our number four story this morning, after a horrendous few weeks, Ms. Paula Deen dropping her long-time agent. She gave no reason for this, but her prepared statement ended by saying Paula wishes him well in all future endeavors.

All right, our number three story popping today. Kanye West's sixth solo album tanking in its second week. Yes, it's plunging 80 percent from week one. The second week drop is the greatest since Madonna's "MDA" was dropped 87 percent in its second week.

All right, number two, actor James Gandolfini is leaving behind an estimated $70 million estate and the late "Sopranos" star is spreading wealth, guys. Court documents show the biggest portion of his estate is going to his kids, 14-year-old son, Michael, and his 8-month-old daughter as well as to his wife and his two sisters. He also gave some to his godson and his assistant, but he was very generous with his money.

And our number one story this morning, the "Lone Ranger," ouch, bombing at the Box Office so far. The film starring Johnny Depp was originally estimated to take in about $70 million this weekend, but on Wednesday it only made $10 million. Now to put that into perspective, comedian, Kevin Hart's concert film made $5 million on Wednesday. That film only opened in 876 theaters, "The Lone Ranger" 4,000 theatres so think about and actually Kevin Hart's film is the one to watch this weekend.

BOLDUAN: Is it a problem that they don't know what audience they're targeting. Is that part of it?

TURNER: Well, I think the problem is they had a lot of problems shooting the film. They said this was the most difficult film. They ever made a lot of reshoots and the budget skyrocketed to over $200 million. There were a lot of issues with the film.

CUOMO: That's why people wouldn't watch it.

TURNER: Right, but they are also not making it a classic Lone Ranger. They are making it through Tonto's eyes, through Johnny Depp's eyes. So it's a bit of a flip and it's a bit of a chance. So we'll have to see what happens.

PEREIRA: I would have thought the extreme weather would have pushed people to the movie theatres. I wonder if overall numbers were down yesterday.

TURNER: That's something to check on. And another real quick point, it could still do well overseas, a lot better than it will do domestically. While we're saying disappointing here, could have a huge overseas market.

PEREIRA: I'm still going to see it.

BOLDUAN: That's her Friday.

CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, we've been telling you this story, terrifying fireworks. Instead of going up, they went out straight into a crowd. What went wrong?

BOLDUAN: Another big day in George Zimmerman's murder trial. We're going to be following this closely. He may have to face Trayvon Martin's mom as she will be likely sitting on the witness stand. We're going to be taken to the courtroom in just about half an hour. We're going to bring you the trial picking up back live.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got bits and pieces of fireworks coming at us, a big brown cylinder block hit the person sitting next to me.


CUOMO: Breaking overnight, dozens of spectators rushed to the hospital when fireworks go off early the town's annual show. We hear from terrified spectators.