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NEW DAY SUNDAY
Four Dead After Car Hits Homecoming Parade Crowd; More Rain Pounds Southeast Texas; Houston Braces For Potential Flash Floods; Clinton, Sanders Spar At Iowa Fundraiser. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired October 25, 2015 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People screaming. I saw something black coming so I didn't know what it was.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the grace of God, it could have been my grandchildren.
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CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Witnesses, you hear them there, reliving what they went through. Police say a drunk driver plowed into a homecoming parade crowd in Oklahoma killing four people, including a 2-year-old and dozens are still hurt.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Flooding overnight in Texas. Houston, Galveston both hit hard. There are warnings this morning and a lot of the roads are under water. The southeastern coast, get this, is bracing for even more rain.
PAUL: And dramatic new video this morning purportedly showing that U.S. raid to save ISIS hostages in Iraq. One American soldier killed in that daring rescue. Could this be the start of a new campaign against the terrorists?
Good morning. We are so grateful to have you with us this morning as always. I'm Christi Paul.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you. We are starting today with the latest on that horrific car crash at a homecoming parade at Oklahoma State University. The death toll rising this morning, police say, a fourth victim, a 2-year-old boy has died at the hospital.
Forty four people were hurt when police say 25-year-old Adacia Chambers slammed into a crowd of spectators in Stillwater, Oklahoma Saturday. One witness saying people were flying in the air.
Our Sara Ganim is following the story for us. This becomes even more tragic by the hour, Sara.
SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is right, Victor. Good morning to you guys. This morning, police identifying those other victims of this crash, 44 in total, in addition to this, a 23-year-old student, Nikita Prabhaker, who was a student at University of Central Oklahoma is among those who passed away and the 65-year-old couple Bonnie Jean and Marvin Lyle Stone also in addition to the 2-year-old boy who was killed in that car accident.
Police are updating us on some of the more additional victims who were hurt, five adults still in critical condition this morning, six children who are still hospitalized, in addition to six more adults who are still in the hospital under either fair or serious or good condition. You know, the victims here, Victor, ranged in age from 1 to 66.
Those who were seeing a homecoming parade and supposed to be a happy day and officials now, instead at that scene and reconstructing what happened and how a happy day turned into a horrible one.
GANIM (voice-over): What was meant to be a celebration Saturday morning turned into a horrific scene, authorities say a driver sped through a parked police motorcycle and crashed into a crowd of spectators at the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade. What eyewitnesses say they saw clearly chaotic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A car just like -- just went in through the crowd, just burst into the crowd.
GANIM: A crash reconstruction team now trying to figure out exactly what happened and asking for anyone with video or information to come forward.
KYLE GIBBS, POLICE LIEUTENANT, STILLWATER POLICE DEPARTMENT: It's just a horrible incident. It's very unfortunate that we have to do this. Just work through it as expeditiously as we can and keep the families of these victims in our prayers.
GANIM: The driver identified as 25-year-old Adacia Chambers is suspected of drunk driving and arrested at the scene. The university president said he struggled with the decision to go on with the homecoming game, but, ultimately decided not to cancel. Players knelt on the field before kickoff to honor the victims and the flag was lowered to half-staff.
BURNS HARGIS, PRESIDENT, OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY: The Oklahoma State homecoming parade is probably one of the most wholesome, happy events in the country, and to have it fouled like this and these victims, it's terrible tragedy. We reach out and embrace the victims and their families.
GANIM: Police say Chambers will have her first court appearance on Monday morning. She starts with a dui, Victor, but that is likely to change. Police saying that they expected Payne County District Attorney's Office will add additional charges when she appears in court.
BLACKWELL: All right, Sara Ganim for us. Thank you so much.
PAUL: Let's talk about more about the 25-year-old Adacia Chambers, who is making her first court appearance in tomorrow. HLN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney, Joey Jackson is with us now.
Joey, some of the new information this morning is that she has indeed been charged according to police with DUI, and they do say that additional charges will be presented. What do you assume those charges will be?
[06:05:13] JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: Christi, good morning to you. Based upon the evidence that we know up to now it's certainly would appear that the prosecution would elevate those charges to DWI manslaughter in addition to DWI causing serious injury.
What is manslaughter? Manslaughter is not the intentional act of doing something but if you do something called criminal negligence you should be aware not to drink and drive and if you do, there are consequences that could result from that.
So, as a result, you're looking at the increase of the charge, the driving while intoxicated manslaughter which carries four years to life.
And as a result of all the injuries, in addition to those fatalities that were caused, you are looking at DWI with serious physical injury and a host of other charges and so that certainly is what she should expect to see when she goes to court on Monday.
PAUL: Captain Kyle Gibbs say the Oklahoma State law mandates blood test for any serious fatally accident and those blood tests have been given but how long before they may see results?
JACKSON: You know, Christi, a couple of things to that, the first thing is that Oklahoma, like many states throughout the country, whenever there is a fatality or a serious injury you do get blood drawn. Oftentimes a warrant is applied for with a judge who would be on-call at any time on a weekend or at a night, in this instance, 10:30 in the morning.
Pursuant to that warrant they draw the blood in order to get an accurate sample. It should be made clear that in addition to the blood which gives you an accurate reading in terms of what the blood alcohol level would be.
In this jurisdiction like many others throughout the country it's at 0.08 or more you have in your blood system and in that case it would be a DWI.
It could take time for an analysis to be done and the prosecutor would know plainly before the public is, you know, allowed to know, but that is going to be something that is very important.
And in addition to that evidence, there will be other people on the scene to speak to on what they observed. Did she have watery bloodshot eyes? Did she have slurred speech? Was there an odor of alcohol emanating from her breath?
All of those things go in addition to a physical sample, which establishes whether or not you were driving while intoxicated.
PAUL: OK, Joey, always appreciate your insight. Thank you, sir.
JACKSON: Thank you, Christi.
BLACKWELL: This morning, remnants of Patricia are inundating southeast Texas with more pounding relentless rain. Up to 20 inches have fallen in some areas over the last few days and breaking local records.
Today, some of those places are getting hit again. Navarro County where the freight train derailed and floodwaters on Saturday we brought this to you as breaking news on this show yesterday saw more torrential rain overnight.
And a Houston area under flash flood warnings as it braces for more rain, maybe 6 inches of rain. Already there are 50 areas with confirmed high water around the city.
Our Ryan Young is in Houston this morning. Ryan, it's just more and more and more. What is the major concern there at this point with so much rain coming down?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You talk about it, the extra rain that could be coming our way. Another 6 to 10 inches may be expected in this area. You can see this is the Buffalo bayou area. The water is pretty high here.
In fact, this is where people really enjoy themselves, and ride bikes, and does the trails here, but you can see the water is overflowed in this area. We have seen video from overnight where we have seen cars completely submerged by the water here.
One man was talking about he was driving toward a water line and thought he could get through. The next thing you know his car stalled and within an hour was completely covered by the water. That is the real fear.
At nighttime people drive around and try to push themselves through the water. It's not a good idea. It doesn't take much water to make a car stop. If you don't have to be on the roads, avoid them.
The low lying areas, they don't want someone to drive a car through these situations and get stuck. Now, the rain has lessened up here a little bit but you can still see it is steady and going this way over 24 hours in the area.
If you look at the water and how fast it's moving in this area like this one you understand the dangers for people who could be in a car and walking along and losing themselves in this water. BLACKWELL: Absolutely. Authorities there have enough to deal with as it is. It doesn't help to get out there and create another rescue emergency or bent for them to have to respond to. Ryan Young for us this morning. Ryan, thank you.
YOUNG: Thank you.
PAUL: Meanwhile, Houston emergency officials are closely monitoring the flooding situation in and around that city. They are particularly vigilant in the wake of the storms that triggered deadly floods.
[06:10:04] Joining me now on the phone is Michael Walter. He is a spokesperson for the city of Houston's Office of Emergency Management. Thank you so much sir for being with us. What can you tell us about what is happening in terms of conditions there at this hour?
MICHAEL WALTER, OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, HOUSTON (via telephone): Sure. Well, we are starting to see conditions improve across the city but we still have some significant flooding issues occurring in some of owner major thoroughfare thoroughfares.
We have the Buffalo bayou area is still out of its banks and we have significant flooding on Memorial Drive, which is one of the major thoroughfares in and out of downtown Houston.
The major effect that we have as a result of this storm is that we currently have all exits into downtown Houston from I-45 closed as a precaution due to the fact that we do have water covering all of the roadways in that area.
PAUL: Are you finding that people are listening to the warnings? Have you had a lot of rescues in Houston?
WALTER: We have had in astonishing low number of rescues for this type of event. Obviously, following the May 25th Memorial Day flood that we had here in Houston, we think our residents did heed the warnings to stay home, which we really appreciate that.
It saved, I'm sure it saved people's lives, and it kept us from having to risk the lives of our first responders having to go out and help those individuals. I think a lot of people from Houston made a right choice to stay off the roads.
We had a couple of vehicles that were submerged as a result. We did have people two water rescues occur, but that really is a dramatically much lower number than what we saw just a few months ago.
PAUL: Well, that is good news and I hope that continues for you as this rain comes down. Michael Walter, thank you so much for keeping us apprised what is happening there. Best of luck to you and the crews there.
Meteorologist, Jennifer Gray, is tracking this storm that is moving through Texas and where it's going to go next and we will check in with her for the latest forecast in 10 minutes. BLACKWELL: We have new video this morning reportedly showing that U.S. raid to rescue ISIS hostages. The question it's now raising about the role the U.S. has in Iraq.
Plus the Democratic candidates for president in Iowa for the all-important Jefferson/Jackson day dinner but it was Hillary Clinton who was feeling the burn many say on her voting record. Listen.
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BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I came to that fork of the road and I took the right road, even though it was not popular at that time.
BLACKWELL: Feeling the burn. Senator Bernie Sanders ratcheting up his attacks against Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton and Sanders took veiled shots at Clinton during a speech at the Jefferson-Jackson day dinner in Iowa although some would say they were not so veiled.
He used everything but her name to criticize her as an inconsistent progressive. Meanwhile, Clinton, who was also at the event, as was Martin O'Malley, made subtle jabs at Sanders, including his status as an independent.
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HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not running for my husband's third term and I'm not running for Barack Obama's third term. I'm running for my first term, and I'm running as a proud Democrat!
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BLACKWELL: CNN's Jeff Zeleny was at the event and has more for us this morning. Good morning, Jeff.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christi. A festival of politics with a touch of Hollywood here in Iowa as Democrats turned out for the biggest campaign event of the year. Hillary Clinton's campaign is on a confidence streak, but she hardly has the stage all to herself.
ZELENY (voice-over): Fireworks in the presidential race. Democratic rivals descending on Iowa 100 days before the first votes of the 2016 primary. Hillary Clinton seizing on the star power of Katy Perry.
KATY PERRY, SINGER: Fight on, 2016 is right around the corner!
ZELENY: And the political power of Bill Clinton in his campaign trail debut. FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: I've never been the warm-up act for Katy Perry before! But I'm well aware I am the warm-up act!
ZELENY: The biggest week yet of the Democratic presidential race ended in Iowa where Clinton had plenty of company and competition.
Senator Bernie Sanders has become a Democratic star of his own. His campaign chartered a plane to fly over their dueling rallies, calling for a revolution before marching side-by-side with his followers.
SANDERS: This is a march which will end up in a year when you will join me in the White House.
ZELENY: A festival of politics coming to a full boil at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, a marquee event for Democrats. It was at this dinner eight years ago where Illinois Senator Barack Obama jump- started his presidential campaign.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: If we are really serious about winning this election, Democrats, then we can't live in fear of losing it.
ZELENY: Sanders said history could repeat itself.
SANDERS: About eight years ago, all of the political experts talked about how another Democratic candidate for president just couldn't win. He was unelectable. Do you remember that guy? What is his name? It's President Obama!
ZELENY: Sanders presented himself as a principled progressive, drawing a sharp contrast to Clinton's vote on Iraq, gay rights, and Wall Street reform.
SANDERS: I will not abandon any segment of American society just because it is politically expedient at a given time.
ZELENY: Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said it's time for a new generation to lead.
MARTIN O'MALLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: New leadership was the same old battles of our past, actions or words? Do we want to get things done or with do we just want to keep kind of shouting past each other?
ZELENY: But Clinton argued her experience makes her the party's strongest nominee.
CLINTON: It's not enough just to rail against the Republicans or the billionaires. We actually have to win this election.
ZELENY: In Iowa, Clinton has an edge in the polls, but Sanders is capturing the enthusiasm, a sign this Democratic race is not yet settled.
(END VIDEOTAPE) [06:20:07] ZELENY: With a hundred days remaining before the Iowa caucuses kick off the road to the White House, Hillary Clinton is clearly in the Democratic driver seat. She spent far more time talking about her Republican rivals than her Democratic ones, but Bernie Sanders supporters are committed, loyal and still looking for a primary fight -- Victor and Christie.
BLACKWELL: All right, Jeff Zeleny for us there in Des Moines, thank you so much. Be sure to watch "STATE OF THE UNION" today with Jake Tapper because Bernie Sanders will there, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump, all exclusives on the show, starts at 9 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
PAUL: Still to come, we have some dramatic new video this morning purportedly showing that rescue of ISIS hostages. You're going to see it play out as we ask the question, what could this mean for the U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq? We have a military expert who has a lot to say about it.
Also the remnants of Patricia pummeling parts of Texas, 6 inches to 12 inches of rain, but where that heavy rain is headed next as well.
PAUL: I know a lot of you have been watching what is happening in Southeast Texas where that rain is not letting up and where is it going next. It doesn't seem to be dissipating at all.
Here are some of the latest pictures we are getting in of this 6 inches to 12 inches of rain in some areas already that they are dealing with, record rainfall and more along the way, along the coast too in Galveston County.
[06:25:02] It's not just rain that is the problem but winds are howling and pushing tides u to 5 feet above normal levels.
BLACKWELL: Houston's emergency officials are urging people to stay off the road especially while it's dark there. All roads into downtown Houston on Interstate 45 are closed.
Our meteorologist, Jennifer Gray, is tracking the storm for us. I'm sure everyone there wants to know how long this rain is going to continue.
JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Houston area and Southeast Texas and Louisiana will continue to deal with the rain. Let me show you guys something, 48-hour rainfall total, Powell Texas, 20 inches of rain. They have had additional rain since then.
Corsicana, Texas, 18 inches of rain, Malone, Texas at 15, so unbelievable, we are going to see an additional 6 to 10 possibly for Southeast Texasx.
Let me show what we are dealing with. The surge of moisture we have been talking about. It is starting to move to the east a little bit so we will start to get that rain tapering off like I mentioned in portions of East Texas and then Southeast Texas, we are still going to be dealing with it.
Warm, humid gulf air continuing to push into the south. We have this stalled front. That low is going to start to push to the east and that is going to be the saving grace in all of this. Flood watches in effect for much of Texas, flood warnings still in effect.
South Louisiana, we are included in this too. Look at the radar. We are going to see that rain continue to push in. Even Baton Rouge and New Orleans are in it and Shreveport.
The east side of Dallas getting light rain but the bulk of it, the very heavy rain we saw several inches an hour come down yesterday, not there anymore.
Now the focus is the Houston/Galveston area. There is a risk of rip currents as well. As we go forward in time, the rain slowly starts to taper off. Houston, we are still raining at 8:00 tonight. But we should start to see it move out overnight and then especially into the morning hours.
So around the Houston area, we could see another 6 inches to 10 inches of rain. Central and Southwest Louisiana, and around New Orleans we could see isolated amounts of 6 to 10.
Southern Mississippi the bull's-eye could see more than 10 inches of rain and this is for the next 36 hours. It is going to slowly start to push to the east, though, as we get into tonight and tomorrow, guys.
BLACKWELL: All right, Jennifer Gray, thank you so much.
PAUL: Just ahead, a disturbing new update on the state of health care for U.S. veterans in America. It is another CNN investigation at the VA.