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Nurse Who Contracted Ebola Virus-Free, Glad to Go Home to Dog


The Pham Family(BETHESDA, Md.) -- After weeks in isolation recovering from Ebola, Dallas nurse Nina Pham thanked everyone who cared for her and said she was glad to finally be going home to her dog, Bentley.

Pham walked out of the National Institutes of Health's hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, Friday morning to a round of applause.

"I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today," she told reporters, adding that she hopes to return to her "normal life."

Pham, 26, contracted Ebola from Liberian national Thomas Duncan, who flew to the United States in September and was diagnosed with Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

Pham, a nurse there, cared for Duncan when he was especially contagious. He died on Oct. 8, and she tested positive for the deadly virus on Oct. 11.

It was the first Ebola transmission on U.S. soil.

"I am on my way back to recovery even as I reflect on others who have not been so fortunate," Pham said, reading from her prepared statement at the press conference.

Pham's colleague, nurse Amber Vinson, 29, also tested positive for the virus on Oct. 15, and was flown from Dallas to Emory University Hospital later that night. The following day, Pham was flown to the Special Clinical Studies Unit of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, at the Dallas hospital's request.

At the news conference announcing Pham's discharge, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said she tested negative for Ebola five times, and that it wasn't clear which treatment saved her because they were all experimental.

"I want to first tell you what a great pleasure and in many respects, a privilege ...to have the opportunity to treat and care for and get to know such an extremely courageous and lovely person," Fauci said, adding that she represents the health care workers who "put themselves on the line"

He said he wore Pham's nursing school colors for the press conference in her honor.

"I'm going to miss Nina a lot," Fauci quipped at the end of the conference, adding that he gave her his cellphone number.

Pham also thanked Dr. Kent Brantly, the American missionary who had been treating Ebola patients in Liberia when he contracted the deadly virus in late July. Brantly was declared virus-free in September and has donated plasma to Pham and other American Ebola patients in the hopes of boosting their ability to fight the virus with his antibodies.

Pham's dog, Bentley, was taken to an animal shelter following her diagnosis. He has tested negative for Ebola, but his 21-day incubation period isn't over until Nov. 1. They will likely reunite a few days later.

Vinson's family announced on Oct. 22 that she, too, tested negative for the virus at Emory.

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Donations Pour in to Buy Eric Frein Lookalike a Car


The Tully Family(CANADENSIS, Pa.) -- Thousands of dollars have been raised for a Pennsylvania man who said he's continually accosted by cops as he walks to work through the woods where police are searching for suspected cop killer Eric Frein.

Supporters who heard about James Tully's plight raised nearly $14,000 online to buy him a car. Tully said he walks five miles from his home in Canadensis to his job at a metal manufacturing factory, and his path crosses right through the manhunt area in the Pocono Mountains.

He told ABC News affiliate WNEP that he's been stopped by police at least 20 times, and was once even ambushed at gunpoint by authorities who thought he was the suspect.

Since neighbor Dawn DeBiase launched the GoFundMe campaign this week, hundreds of sympathetic people have donated.

"If everyone was willing to walk 10 miles to make a dollar, the world would be a different place," one supporter wrote.

"I am retired now but I can remember times when I had no car to get to work and I found people willing to help me," said another donor. "Just like all these great people helping you. Good luck to you."

DeBiase posted a message from Tully's mother on the fundraising page Thursday night.

"I don't know if James is aware of the present total as he is at work right now," she wrote, according to DeBiase's update. "But I am blown away. I don't have the words to thank each of you for your kindness to my son. To say thank you seems so inadequate, but I don't know what else I could say. Many thanks to everyone who donated and posted encouraging messages. Thank you especially, Dawn for organizing this."

Police have been searching for Frein for six weeks, since he allegedly opened fire at the Blooming Grove police barracks on Sept. 12, killing one state trooper and injuring another, before escaping into the woods.

Frein, a self-trained survivalist, has been spotted several times, but evaded police capture.

Tully has started wearing his employer ID on a lanyard around his neck, and wearing a reflective vest on his walks so police immediately know he is not the suspect.

Pennsylvania State Police declined to make an official comment, but said that if Tully feels he was mistreated, he should file a complaint.

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Retracing the Steps of Craig Spencer, Doctor Who Tested Positive for Ebola


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Officials are retracing the steps of a doctor who tested positive for Ebola on Thursday, with the doctor in isolation at a New York City hospital and three others under quarantine, city and state officials said.

Dr. Craig Allen Spencer, 33, was placed in isolation at Bellevue Hospital on Thursday after reporting a 100.3 fever and gastrointestinal symptoms. He had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea -- one of the West African countries battling an outbreak of the deadly virus -- for Doctors Without Borders, officials said. Spencer left Guinea on Oct. 14 and traveled through Brussels, Belgium, and arrived at JFK Airport on Oct. 17.

Spencer had contact with four people -- his fiancée, two friends and an Uber driver, according to New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. His fiancée, identified by a family friend as Morgan Dixon, is under quarantine at Bellevue Hospital while his two friends are quarantined at home, Bassett said. None of the people under quarantine are showing Ebola symptoms. The Uber driver isn't considered to be at risk for contracting the virus.

Health officials say Spencer took the A, L and 1 subway trains on Wednesday. He also went for a jog and visited The Gutter, a bowling alley in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. The Gutter was closed Thursday "out of an abundance of caution," Bassett said.

The New York City Health Department will check the bowling alley on Friday, Bassett said.

Spencer's apartment was sealed off after it was cleared. Since he tested positive, a team will decontaminate his apartment in the Harlem section of New York, officials said.

Neighbors were saddened to learn about Spencer's diagnosis.

"I really hope the odds are in his favor in regards to his recovery," neighbor John Roston said.

The chances of the average New Yorker contracting Ebola, which is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, are slim -- "close to nil" that the subway rides would pose a risk, Bassett said.

Still, the news rankled some New Yorkers.

"Oh my gosh!" said Charles Kerr, 60, as his friends gathered on a Harlem sidewalk murmured. "This changes the situation. The guy must be coughing, sitting against people. Now you've got to think."

Kerr said he wasn't afraid, but he wants a stricter approach to anyone coming from the Ebola-affected countries.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking at a Thursday press conference, expressed their confidence in the staff at Bellevue Hospital to treat Spencer.

"There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed," de Blasio said. "We've been preparing for months for the threat posed by Ebola. We have clear and strong protocols, which are being scrumptiously followed and were followed in this instance."

Earlier this week, a team with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that Bellevue’s hospital staff had proper protocols and was prepared to treat Ebola patients, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said.

Cuomo said he had spoken with Ron Klain, who was appointed by President Obama as his "Ebola czar." A CDC team was also en route to New York, said Frieden.

New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center described Spencer as a "dedicated humanitarian...who went to an area of medical crisis to help a desperately underserved population."

Spencer is the fourth patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national, tested positive for the virus at the end of September in Dallas, where he infected two nurses who cared for him: Nina Pham and Amber Vinson.

Duncan died on Oct. 8, shortly before the nurses tested positive for the virus.

Vinson has been declared virus-free, her family announced Wednesday. Pham's condition has been upgraded from "fair" to "good."

Health officials decided to test the New York City patient for Ebola because of the patient's work, symptoms and travel history, according to a statement from Bellevue Hospital. Bellevue is the designated hospital for the diagnosis and treatment of Ebola patients in New York City.


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Intruder Shot by Golfer's Wife May Have Been Her Ex-Lover: Police


Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- The wife of a semi-pro golfer shot an intruder in an August home invasion -- but a police report released this week revealed that the wife and intruder were allegedly having an affair, with authorities declining to bring criminal charges in the case.

Mishay Simpson, 28, the wife of golfer Rhett Simpson, was home alone with the couple’s daughter on Aug. 19 when their home alarm system went off, police said.

Simpson told investigators that someone came upstairs and opened the door, according to the police report.

She saw someone standing in the doorway. "He began to back up, facing her, and she pulled the trigger," the report states.

The man was identified as Andrew Noll, 23, an acquaintance of Simpson's. He took a photo seconds after being shot.

"When she opened the door, we looked right at each other for a few seconds," Noll told investigators. "I turned around, and she shot me."

One week before the shooting, she filed a request for a restraining order, telling police that Noll had been stalking her.

But Noll's story is much different.

“I had the codes and the keys to her house,” he said. “I didn't open the bedroom door. She did, and she shot me from behind.”

The nature of their relationship remains in question. He claims -- in a sworn statement -- that they were having an affair, but had recently broken it off.

On the night of the shooting, Simpson reportedly texted him. But Simpson told police that the two have never been involved sexually.

Simpson and her attorney declined to comment when reached by ABC News.

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Hatchet-Wielding Man Who Attacked Cops 'Just an Angry Guy'


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A hatchet-wielding man who attacked two police officers in New York City before he was shot to death was likely “just an angry guy” and was not connected to any terrorist organizations, a police source told ABC News.

The attack happened at 2 p.m. Thursday, at the intersection of Jamaica Avenue and 162nd Street in the city’s borough of Queens.

Surveillance video released by police shows the man -- later identified as Zale Thompson, 32 -- wearing a heavy green jacket, raising the 18 ½ inch hatchet, prepared to strike as he walked down the sidewalk. The man was unprovoked and did not speak before swinging his hatchet, police said.

Officer Kenneth Healey, 25, is listed in critical but stable condition at Jamaica Hospital with a head wound following the attack, police said. Officer Joseph Meeker, 24, is listed in stable condition with an arm injury.

Additionally, a 29-year-old woman located nearby was accidentally struck by a bullet in her lower back and is recovering from surgery, police said.

Police initially wondered if the attack was terrorism-related, but according to the police source, authorities haven’t been able to connect Thompson to any terrorist organization.

“The initial impression is that he’s just an angry guy who’s ranting about the American government and American oppression of foreign people,” the source said.

Police executed several search warrants and found other axes and hunting knives, the source said.

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Red Hot Lava Flow Edging Toward Hawaiian Town


iStock/Thinkstock(PAHOA, Hawaii) -- A lava flow threatening homes and a town on the Big Island of Hawaii has gained speed in recent days, advancing more than five football fields in just the last 48 hours.

Hawaii civil defense authorities and scientists are closely monitoring the lava’s progress, which is steadily encroaching on the small town of Pahoa and several Big Island subdivisions. The flow is now less than a mile from Pahoa, Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said Thursday.

Oliveira said changes in topography may help slow or change the path of the red-hot lava flow, which emerged from the Kilauea volcano East Rift Zone on June 27 and has traveled roughly 11 miles since then.

Authorities now say they are preparing for the inevitable. About 10,000 residents on the island could be affected, Oliveira said. When the lava gets too close -- and Oliveira says he doesn’t yet know when that is -- the plan is to give residents three to five days warning before they need to evacuate.

“We’d like to allow people adequate time to make whatever plans they need to make on a comfortable timeline,” Oliveira said.

Authorities said the lava traveled 425 yards from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. The lava devoured another 130 acres of terrain by Thursday afternoon, officials said.

Emergency roads are already being constructed in case the lava cuts off people living in the lower Puna area. Power company officials began efforts Thursday to protect electrical transmission lines.

Big Island residents are used to living with one of the world’s most active, and sometimes destructive, volcanos. Since the current eruption began in 1983, unstoppable lava flows have added 500 new acres to the island and destroyed at least 181 homes, a visitor center, a church and a community center, according the National Park Service.

Oliveira says past efforts to slow or divert lava flows simply don’t work, and can create more problems.

“Any redirecting of the flow would likely push it into another subdivision in another area, basically putting new properties at risk that would not have been at risk before,” Oliveira told ABC News.

“If we divert it, we are going to push it into someone else’s backyard,” he said.


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US Taking a Tougher Stance Against Animal Cruelty


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- People who hate animal cruelty should be happy about an important change in federal law that will go into effect next year.

Beginning in 2015, the FBI will consider animal cruelty as a crime against society, falling into the same category as homicide, kidnapping, burglary and arson. Animal cruelty crimes will also be included in the Uniform Crime Report -- National Incident Based Reporting System.

The change should help law enforcement authorities get a better handle on understanding the motivation behind these crimes as well as stopping future ones from occurring.

Animal cruelty crimes will be reported to the UCR under the following classifications: simple/gross neglect; intentional abuse and torture; organized abuse; and animal sexual abuse.

Besides protecting animals from some unspeakable acts, the FBI also believes that the new system will help prevent violent crimes against humans since studies have shown that people who commit heinous acts such as serial killing often abused, hurt and killed animals during their adolescence.

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Murder Suspect Back in Custody After Accidental Release


DPSCS(BALTIMORE) -- A murder suspect who was mistakenly released from a Baltimore detention center is back in custody, authorities said.

Baltimore police captured Rodriguez Purnell about 6 p.m. He was accidentally allowed to walk free from the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center on Friday, police said.

Purnell, 30, has been in and out of jail for drugs and robbery over the years. He was recently incarcerated on a first-degree murder charge, accused of fatally shooting T.J. Rheubottom, 27, last year.

Purnell was in custody waiting to be retried for Rheubottom’s murder after his first trial ended in a hung jury, but after corrections officers confused his current case with the old charges, they let him go. Authorities didn’t realize the mistake until two days later when the victim’s family said they called the jail after Purnell was spotted hanging out in the neighborhood.

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections said in a statement Wednesday that it placed an employee on paid administrative leave for mistakenly releasing Purnell.

“Preliminary results indicate a lapse in release procedures that would otherwise have identified the pending charges at the time of release,” the statement said.

Rheubottom’s mother, Jackie Davis, was stunned by Purnell’s release and worried for the safety of her family and witnesses in the murder case.

“This should have never happened,” Davis told ABC News.

The incident remains under investigation.

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Jodi Arias Trial Hit With Another Juror Issue


ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The Jodi Arias trial ended early on Thursday because of a "juror issue," the latest incident in the four-day-old trial involving jurors.

The jury is not expected to return to court until Monday. The court did not make clear what the issue was.

But so far, the panel has already lost two alternates.

The judge ordered a group of 19 jurors to sit through what is expected to be a two-month trial that will determine whether Arias should be condemned to death for the 2008 murder of her boyfriend Travis Alexander. Arias, 34, was convicted last year of killing Alexander with a gunshot, 27 stab wounds and by slitting his throat. But the jury was split on whether Arias should be executed, requiring a second jury for the sentencing phase of the trial.

The plan to have seven alternate jurors for the sentencing phase was whittled to six on the first day when one juror didn't show up because of a family emergency.

On Wednesday, a second juror was dismissed because of improper contact with a member of the media that the juror mistook for ABC News legal analyst Nancy Grace, and for not wearing her juror badge.

If a third juror gets booted, the trial will be left with four alternates as the lengthy trial is just beginning.

The trial promises to be an ordeal with lots of grisly testimony and photos about the wounds, as well as raunchy photos, texts and phone message between Arias and Alexander. On the first day of the trial prosecutor Juan Martinez showed the jury a photo of Alexander's gaping neck wound.

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Putting New Football Helmets to the Test: What's Safest?


ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Preventing concussions has become a top priority for elite players and anyone with a child sporting a football jersey, and new technology and research is racing to try to make the game safer for all.

Virginia Tech University, which has tracked more than 300,000 impacts on its football team, is the epicenter for research into safer helmets. Their method uses a simple but critical test: lifting a football helmet rimmed with sensors six feet into the air, then dropping it onto a rubber-coated concrete and steel block.

The test mimics what players can face on the field, researchers told ABC News. Then a one- to five-star safety rating is assigned for each helmet tested. Helmets with more stars provide a reduction in concussion risk compared to helmets with fewer stars.

"If you don’t make a five-star helmet, a lot of times you can’t even bid on the sale of helmets. If a school puts out a call for proposals, it’ll say we are only taking bids for 5-star Virginia Tech rated helmets,” Stefan Duma, the director of the School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences at Virginia Tech, told ABC News. “I think if you are a manufacturer, you can’t be in the business unless you are making 5-star helmets.”

ABC News got an exclusive look inside the Virginia Tech lab, where engineers are doing something not unlike crash testing for automobiles.

“When you go buy a car it’s very clear this is a 4-star car, it’s a 5-star car. A lot of work goes into that. We basically wanted to develop a system analogous for helmets,” Duma said. “So when you go buy a helmet you can look at our website and see an independent way to see which perform better than others.”

Researchers took ABC News into the lab as they tested three new helmets on the market, each boasting new technologies -- two from manufacturer SG and one from Riddell. The SG helmets are lighter, weighing half as much as other helmets.

“The interesting thing about this helmet,” Duma said in reference to the Simpson or SG helmet, “is that the shell is carbon fiber or Kevlar, so it’s super light and they use a different padding on the inside.”

And one from Riddell -- the Speed Flex helmet, just released this fall.

“For the first time you've got a company making a non-ridged shell so you see this part right here, it actually deforms, that’s very unusual,” Duma said.

“You can push on that and see how easy it bends in,” Duma explained, noting that the flexibility is expected to be an additional safety feature. “That’s their claim.”

After two straight days of testing, all three helmets tested received a 5-star rating. The helmets they are testing are for kids 14 years and older.

Virginia Tech found Riddell's new flex design reduced head acceleration better than any helmet they've tested.

Click here for a full list of their tested helmets and ratings.

The 5-star rating for both SG helmets came with two significant points: cracking was found in the helmet padding, or liner, in both helmets tested.

SG told ABC News: "The helmets are safe to use through the season" even with some cracking of the liner. “Annual reconditioning of helmets includes replacing liners," a cost SG estimates around $16 per foam liner.

Virginia Tech also noted that SG indicates their helmets have a two-year lifespan -- much shorter than the 10-year lifespan most other helmet companies claim. The company offers the possibility of re-certifying the helmet after two years.

Regarding the two-year lifespan, SG said "the helmets are new technology...and they haven't been available long enough to know if they will last beyond two years."

Virginia Tech researchers said they hope the work done inside the lab to rate and improve helmets will make football a safer sport.

“We want parents to learn that getting out of the old helmets, getting into the new better helmets, that’s gonna reduce [your kid’s] risk,” Duma said.

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Missing Nashville Boy Told Police He Rode Megabus Solo to Atlanta


iStock/Thinkstock(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- An 11-year old boy from North Nashville who went missing earlier this week has been found safe in Atlanta after apparently hopping a Megabus near his hometown to make the trip by himself.

Police said Wednesday that they discovered the boy walking in downtown Atlanta early Tuesday morning. He had last been seen the previous day in downtown Nashville.

The fact that the boy, identified as Nathan Long, made it from Tennessee to Georgia has raised questions about how he was able by himself to buy a ticket and board the Megabus.

The policy of Megabus, outlined on its website, states, "All children under 17 years of age must be accompanied by an adult (17 years of age or over) when traveling on Megabus.com. Unaccompanied children under the age of 17 are not permitted to travel on Megabus.com. We recommend that young adults be prepared to produce a photo ID with proof of age to avoid being refused from traveling on our buses."

Sean Hughes, associate director of corporate affairs for Megabus, told ABC News that the bus line is investigating the report. "We're looking into it and we take it very seriously," Hughes said. "Safety is our number one priority."

Asked if Long actually boarded the Megabus in Nashville, Hughes said, "Were not sure. We're actively looking to piece it together."

Hughes said that if the surveillance video, referenced in a Tennessean article, that places Long at 28th Avenue North and Buchanan Street at 7:15 p.m. Monday is accurate, it's unlikely that he actually took a Megabus. The timing would make it incredibly hard for the boy to catch the one bus headed to Atlanta that night. The Megabus website shows only one departure to Atlanta Monday night, at 7:30 p.m.

Long was last seen at about 6 p.m. Monday leaving his home in the Cumberland View public housing complex. Siblings told police that the boy took his backpack, the Tennessean reported.

Metro Nashville Police told ABC News that Long's mother was scheduled to go to Atlanta to pick up her son Thursday.

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Nebraska High School OKs Guns In Senior Portraits


iStock/Thinkstock(BROKEN BOW, Neb.) -- A Nebraska school district changed its policy to allow seniors to pose with guns for their yearbook photos, and the school's superintendent says he's just catching up with the rest of the Midwest.

Students can pose with any type of prop, from rifles to basketballs, as long as what they're wearing meets the school's dress code and the photo is "tasteful and appropriate," according to the new policy introduced this week.

"We are a very rural community right in the center of Nebraska where hunting and other shooting sports are very popular," Broken Bow Public Schools Superintendent Mark Sievering said. "We have something that is known as the One Box Pheasant Hunt that is a hunt attended by people all over the nation."

While hunting is huge, the city of Broken Bow is small. In fact, the district only has one high school, so the new policy doesn't affect many students.

"We're a town of about 3,500 people," Sievering said. "On any given year, we might have 60 to 70 seniors. We're not talking about hundreds of kids or several schools in a district."

Still, when news of the new rule broke in the Omaha World-Herald, Sievering said he got calls from people across the nation who pictured "a fourth-grader coming into school and having their picture taken with a gun."

"That is not what this is about," he said, adding that students take the senior photos off campus. Sievering said he realizes that it could be easy for people who live in other parts of the country, where yearbook photos are taken at school, to "misconstrue" his policy.


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There was never a ban on weapons in senior photos at Broken Bow High School, but the district generally didn't allow it, the superintendent said. Last year when a yearbook adviser asked about the policy, Sievering realized there wasn't one, and he and the school board decided hunting was an important hobby to many students, and should be represented in the yearbook if students choose.

"I'm confident that students across the country are already taking photos like this. This is not a new thing," he said.

Photographer Brian Baer said he takes yearbook photos for students throughout the state of Nebraska, including in Broken Bow, and has never heard of anyone banning weapons in photos.

"I've been in business for 20 years doing senior portraits, and this is the first time it's been called to attention," he said. "And I think it was addressed because of some sensitivity of school shootings that are becoming more common across the country, unfortunately."

"When we do senior portraits, we ask our students to consider an activity that they're interested in, that they're passionate about," Baer added. "Sometimes it's dancing, sometimes it's basketball, sometimes hunting is the activity they're interested in."

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Toddler Slams SUV into Virginia Automotive Shop


iStock/Thinkstock(CHESTERFIELD, Va.) -- A 2-year-old girl in Virginia escaped with no injuries after she put her mother’s car in neutral, cruised through four lanes of traffic and crashed the car head-on into an automotive shop.

“I was just sitting behind my desk and all of a sudden heard a tremendous boom and jumped up to check and an SUV had hit the wall of the building,” Tony Price, the manager of Adam’s Automotive, told ABC News Thursday.

The crash happened around 1 p.m. Wednesday after the toddler’s mother, who was not identified, went in to pay at a gas station across the road from the auto shop.

“As soon as I looked out the window, the mom was at the vehicle and was scooping the daughter out,” Price said.

The road that the toddler crossed in her mom’s Ford Expedition includes four lanes of traffic that, miraculously, did not have any traffic at that time.

“Nobody hit it. No one had to avoid it. It was amazing,” said Price.

The mother told police officers and Price that her daughter managed to get out of her car seat and put the car in neutral, which then caused the Expedition to drift across the usually busy road.

No charges were filed in the incident according to both Price and local ABC News affiliate WRIC.

Calls placed to the Chesterfield Police Department by ABC News were not returned as of this writing.

The toddler emerged from the crash with only a slight bruise on her face, according to Price.

His business, however, received what he described as “extensive damage.”

“We’re getting estimates on it today,” Price said.

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Statue of Liberty to Get Dressed Up for Halloween


Courtesy of Nick Graham(NEW YORK) -- Even for her 125th birthday, Lady Liberty didn't get this dressed up. But this Halloween, the Statue of Liberty will be decked out, sporting snazzy bow ties to promote the launch of a new menswear brand from designer Nick Graham.

"I was just thinking of something that would be fun to do, dressing up something very large," Graham said. "Mount Rushmore is too far from here, so the next best thing is the Statue of Liberty."

So even if the polka-dot bow ties don't match Lady Liberty's robe, they'll have to do, he joked.

Graham isn't really planning on wrapping the ties around the statue because that would require permission from the National Parks Service.

Instead, helicopters will dangle massive, 35-pound nylon bow ties in front of the statue for a few minutes on the morning of Oct. 31 so it will appear to spectators on Manhattan that she's dressed up.

The National Park Service told ABC News it doesn't have a say in Graham's project because the Federal Aviation Administration controls the airspace around the statue -- but if it did, it wouldn't let it happen.

"We have not been asked for a permit and, if we were, we would not permit such activity within our property," NPS spokeswoman Mindi Rambo told ABC News.

Graham, known as the creator of Joe Fresh but who has since launched a namesake line, said his plan is meant all in good fun.

"Let's dress up America," he said. "That's what I'm really all about!"

After getting a snapshot of Lady Liberty "wearing" the bow tie, the helicopters will fly up and down the Hudson and East Rivers to promote Graham's new line of neckwear and dress shirts.

A third-party company will handle the banners and helicopters and is working with the Federal Aviation Administration, Graham said.

The FAA did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

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Neuroscientist Faces Trial in Wife's Cyanide Poisoning Death


iStock/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) -- Opening statements are expected to begin Thursday at the trial of a University of Pittsburgh neuroscientist accused of poisoning his neurologist wife with an energy drink laced with cyanide.

Dr. Robert Ferrante, 65, allegedly gave his wife, Dr. Autumn Klein, 41, the drink on April 17, 2013, telling her that it would help her get pregnant. That same day, the couple exchanged text messages about how a creatine regimen could help them conceive.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by ABC News, Klein wrote, “Will it stimulate egg production too?”

Ferrante allegedly responded with a smiley face.

Klein collapsed in her home. She died on April 20, 2013, at UPMC Presbyterian, where she was chief of the division of women's neurology and an assistant professor of neurology, obstetrics and gynecology.

Police documents allege that Ferrante did not want an autopsy performed, and instructed that Klein’s body be cremated. Despite those instructions, an autopsy was performed, revealing a lethal amount of cyanide in her system.

Ferrante -- considered a leading researcher of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS -- allegedly had a bottle of cyanide shipped overnight to his lab at the University of Pittsburgh two days before his wife collapsed, using a university credit card.

Additionally, hours after a police interview following Klein’s death, Ferrante allegedly performed a Google search, writing, “Would ECMO or dialysis remove traces of toxins poisons?”

Police say Ferrante suspected his wife was having an affair. He was arrested in July 2013, charged with one count of criminal homicide. He has pleaded not guilty.

ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said the trial will likely become a battle of medical experts.

“How much cyanide was in her body is the crucial piece of evidence,” Abrams said. “The defense is expected to dispute the reliability of the blood tests. That will be a big part of the case.”

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