Watching the raw video, the only thing you can think is that poor motorcycle driver; if he somehow escaped death he must have been severely injured. The dramatic video from the inside the bus captures the motorcycle wreck in full detail, the car pulling in front of the bike, the bike crashing into the hood, the driver ejected from the seat as the machine tumbles with force into the front of the bus. A kid who barely escapes tragedy by a few feet. It's almost like a clip from a Hollywood movie, but it's all too real.
The video is from the accident involving Florida State tight end, and grandson of Jack Nicklaus, Nick O'Leary. And it might never have seen the light of the day if it wasn't for some industrious digging by Bud Elliott at the SB Nation site, Tomahawk Nation. In an exclusive, Elliott posted the video and the story surrounding the crash. Now we dig a little deeper to see how he managed to scoop the Internet and grab this dramatic footage.
It all started with an innocent tip. Someone who reads Tomahawk Nation asked Elliott if something was up with Nick O'Leary, that he'd heard O'Leary had been involved in a bad accident. This is a direct benefit of SB Nation blogs having such diverse and engaged communities. The genesis of a great news story can come from anywhere.
Elliott asked around and determined that O'Leary didn't have any serious injuries, but decided to follow up on the tip. He filed a public records request for the accident report and for the Star Metro Bus video. What he received was the accident report and the dramatic video shown here.
Once Elliott had the report and the video, he wanted to confirm that O'Leary was indeed okay and not seriously injured, and he wanted to discuss it with FSU coach Jimbo Fisher. After having the opportunity to do both, Elliott went ahead and posted his exclusive.
I asked Elliott why he thought no one had dug into the story or discovered the video?
I think his lack of serious injury caused many to regard it as a non-story. Coley Harvey, of the Orlando Sentinel, tweeted that he knew the crash was bad, but that he had no idea just how bad it was. And I am not sure how many realized his motorcycle crashed into a bus, that it was a city bus, and that the bus had multiple video cameras running to capture the incident. If it had been a police car instead of a bus, I'm sure many would have put in the request, because everyone knows that a police car has a dash cam.
I wondered what the driver of the car had to say about the incident, Elliott responded:
I discovered these tweets from someone who could be the driver of the car. The person behind that twitter account also tweeted that O'Leary was speeding, and made other comments about his ability to drive. And this tweet suggests that the driver now lives in Miami. The crash report, which is linked in the original story, does state that O'Leary was estimated to be speeding, but that an accurate speed was not calculated. That somewhat backs up her claim.
Elliott hopes to follow up with Nick O'Leary soon. But for now, thanks to a tip and some industrious sleuthing, we have the dramatic video and crash report. Congrats to Bud Elliott and Tomahawk Nation for bringing this to light, and give thanks that Nick O'Leary came out of this alive and well.