By SABRINA TAVERNISE and ANDY NEWMAN; Michael Brick, Thomas J. Lueck and Jess Wisloski contributed reporting for this article
Published: May 05, 2004
A television news helicopter covering a triple shooting in Brooklyn spun out of control and crashed onto the roof of a Flatbush apartment building last night, snapping in two but sparing the three people on board any serious injuries.
The WNBC-TV helicopter, Chopper 4, hit the roof of a four-story brick apartment building at 2502 Cortelyou Road about 6:30 p.m., and then plunged onto the roof of a two-story building, the authorities said.
The helicopter landed in two pieces on the roof of the smaller building, 2514 Cortelyou Road near East 25th Street.
”I cannot believe that three people walked away from that,” a neighbor, Dwayne Simpkins, said.
The people on board, a reporter, Andrew Torres, and two pilots, Russ Mowry and Hassan Taan-Marin, were taken to area hospitals. None of their injuries were life-threatening, the police said.
”We’ve spoken to all three men and they seem to be O.K.,” said Liz Fischer, a spokeswoman for WNBC. ”We’re just thankful that they’re safe.”
The Santa Monica Farmer’s Market was destroyed yesterday when George Russell Weller, 86, may have accidentally pressed the accelerator of his car instead of the brake. This caused the car to go ramming through the barricade meant to keep everyone out of harms way. Witnesses said he was swerving back and forth while accelerating and hitting many people along his path during the 20 second rampage. By the time he came to a stop, he had killed 9 people and injured 63 people. A tenth victim died later adding to the extent of the tragedy.
UPDATE: In 2008, the legal case was closed and the city of Santa Monica and other defendants paid $21 million to settle dozens of civil lawsuits as a result of the tragedy.
On May 21, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa. By June 5, this became Tropical Storm Allison. The storm hit near Freeport, Texas, first then slowly turned toward Houston. Wind and rain pummeled the state until the storm finally moved back over the Gulf of Mexico on June 10th. On the 11th, the center had moved near Intracoastal City, Louisiana and onto nearby Morgan City, Louisiana. The storm then weakened to a subtropical storm and went through portions of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Allison finally merged with a cold front over the Atlantic on June 18. In its wake 23 people were dead in Texas, 7 in Pennsylvania with 43 total among all the states. An estimated $5.5 billion in damages was done along Allison’s entire path. 75 counties were designated as disaster areas by President Bush.
Today President Bush and the National Security Advisor met with the Dalai Lama in The White House residence to discuss Tibet. The President commended the Dalai Lama for his commitment to nonviolence and said he would encourage dialogue with the Chinese Government. The President and the Dalai Lama agreed that strong and constructive U.S-China relations is important. The Dalai Lama has also met with Secretary of State Powell, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Paula Dobriansky from the State Department.
San Francisco. Its been twenty years since Jim Jones and Jonestown, Guyana. A large photograph is mounted on the fourth floor near the Board of Supervisors meeting room. There is a series of photographs of Jones in the exhibit called “Days of Darkness”.
The photos are of about 900 people who will die in a couple of hours including Congressman Leo Ryan and Greg Robinson the photographer who took a lot of the photographs.
“You can’t believe that one guy can be that powerful, that he can get so many people to kill themselves” said Claes Ostlund a resident of Stockholm who is trying to make sense of how this evil was possible in San Francisco.
Patty Moran, a Democratic Party activist during the time of Jones, had worked for Harvey Milk and George Moscone who were murdered a week after the tragedy in Jonestown states “I can understand why people here wouldn’t like it, having to look at that every day”.
“…Is there some darkness at the heart of this beautiful city, or is it just that San Francisco welcomes anyone charismatic who preaches social justice?” asks the San Francisco Examiner Columnist Rob Morse.
To answer Rob Morse’s question about the darkness in the heart of the city of San Francisco that would allow a fog to blind the residents to the evil before them, see this teaching by Prophet.tv’sBuilding the Warrior series.