Thursday, May 03, 2007
Train slams into 18-Wheeler
Vigilance, quick thinking and a reliable camera were all I-Reporter Laura Kennedy needed to capture a locomotive slamming into an 18-wheel truck near Richmond, Texas. She provided CNN with the only known video of the dramatic April 27 accident.

Kennedy and her husband were stopped at a traffic light along Highway 90 when they heard a train approach. Up ahead, they saw that a semi-truck was apparently stuck on railroad tracks that run parallel to the road. They knew the situation was serious.

"When we saw the train coming, my husband mentioned he wished we had a camera, and I said, ‘I do,’ " Kennedy recalls. "I always carry my camera with me."

Kennedy turned on her camera and started recording. "I pulled it out just in time," she says. In her video, the train slams into the United Van Lines Moving and Storage truck as its brakes screech in vain. (Watch her video.)

The trailer was split in half, yet no one was hurt, including the driver, who was still inside the cab.

"I saw the driver get out of the cabin, wave his arms like 'oh well,' and then got back into the cabin," Kennedy says.

Kennedy sent the video to CNN as an I-Report, and within minutes, the images of the dramatic crash were broadcast. The footage later became the most-watched video on CNN.com.

We’re curious. What would you do in this situation?
Monday, April 30, 2007
California overpass meltdown
I-Reporter Paul Kochli helped CNN provide viewers with their first glimpse of the fiery, overpass truck crash in Oakland, California. (Watch his video.)

Kochli says he was driving with his girlfriend Sunday morning when he became distracted by smoke and bright flames near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Kochli stopped the car, grabbed his camera and started shooting video of the fiery gasoline truck crash.

“I thought it was a plane crash,” Kochli recalls. “I didn’t want to get too close. There was so much damage.”

Yet melting steel beams, collapsing concrete and temperatures up to 2,000 degrees didn’t deter the I-Reporter from filming the inferno. "I figured we'd be the only ones recording it," Kochli says.

Kochli says other drivers couldn’t believe what they were seeing. “Everyone else was pretty much in shock. They left their cars pretty much on the side of the road,” he says.

Kochli quickly sent his footage to CNN as an I-Report. His video provided CNN with its first images of the accident. His footage and on-the-phone interview with CNN later would become one of CNN.com’s most popular videos.
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