How Two Podcasters Survived an SUV Hitting Them and Made Viral Video Gold
Nathan Reeves, 20, and Alexsey Reyes, 22, were just wrapping up taping the fifth episode of Reeves’ recently-launched video podcast when the SUV hit. The photographers and content creators were sitting at Tout Suite, a coffee house on Commerce St. in downtown Houston, when a skidding Chevy Tahoe smashed through the window directly behind them, pinning them against the edge of the table where they had been talking about photography for Reeves’ up-and-coming YouTube channel, NovemberRomeo. Even before they scooted out from between the wrecked SUV and the cafe table, they knew they had YouTube gold on their hands.
“It was complete shock at first,” Reeves told Jalopnik. “Us being content creators, after making sure everyone was okay and no one died, we were like, ‘oh my god, I can’t believe we have this on film.’ So we decided we would just make the best out of a really bad situation.”
For Reeves and Reyes, that meant uploading the whole thing to YouTube.
I spoke with the duo by phone on Monday, the day after the crash. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Car smashes through cafe during podcast session.
Bob Sorokanich: Did you find out from the cops what happened?
Nathan Reeves: Actually if you go on my YouTube, the main podcast video, you can see. I’m pretty sure the black SUV ran a red light and was like, sideswiped, and then went straight into us.
Bob: It was out of control before it came towards the building?
Nathan: I think they were trying to correct the steering or whatever, you can kinda see, and then they just kinda go straight into us.
Bob: Alexsey, what was it like from your perspective? In the video, it seems like you got pinned by the car.
Alexsey Reyes: When the car hit me from the back I was kind of pinned into the table. Thank god because, if it would have gone any faster, that could have ended really badly. You can see in the video I’m trying to fix my jersey, trying to like, unpin myself from the table. I went into complete shock as well, I didn’t know exactly what to do. I’m still kind of processing the whole situation honestly.
Bob: Are you guys in pain? Do you have any injuries?
Alexsey: I think the adrenaline definitely took over so instantly. We felt the hit obviously, but no major pain at the moment. We both woke up this morning with stiffness in our backs, so we’re in the process of getting all that checked out with like doctors and stuff to make sure we’re fine cause there’s definitely like, long-term effects that could happen and occur. Definitely checking that out for sure.
Bob: But nothing major like broken bones?
Nathan: I got cut up a little bit on my back from some of the glass that had shattered, but by now I’m already feeling much better. It doesn’t seem to be bleeding anymore.
Alexsey: We’re just glad no one actually died, but yeah, it was definitely an impact.
Bob: I’m kind of amazed at how chill you both were. Alexsey, you had your phone out and started shooting video of the crash scene before you even got off the chair.
Alexsey: I think just being a Gen Z’er, you know, we grow up with social media watching crazy stuff happen every day. One, I was in shock, and two, it’s kind of just, my instinct as a content creator. Making content is my passion, so like, that’s what I go to and that’s, I feel like, how I cope. So, yeah, I just pulled out [my phone], documented what I could, because, you never know if I need that in the future. Sharing that online with people, everyone kind of seemed to interact with it in a way and have their own opinions. I wouldn’t be talking to you if I hand’t shared those moments.
Nathan: Poeple seemed to really get a kick out of the whole thing. I think he’s definitely correct in saying like, as content creators, it is kind of interesting to view it in maybe even a little different way [...] Right when it happened, we made sure that ourselves and other people, no one died or anything, and then we thought okay, we kinda need to do what we like to do here and gather content.
Alexsey: Make the best out of the situation.
Nathan: Yeah make the best out of a really bad situation.
Bob: So were you trying to get photo or video of the driver or the license plate? Were you trying to gather evidence?
Alexsey: No, not necessarily. I was just worried about myself honestly, and my friend [...] I don’t think I really talked to the driver at all. So yeah, I was just documenting my life and my experience with Nathan, that was my main focus.
Bob: Nathan, did you talk to the driver?
Nathan: Actually no. They never talked to us. I just saw them from a distance as they were talking to police. We had no interaction with them.
Alexsey: Yeah the cops seemed to handle everything on their own. I just went home, I needed a nap. Like, after that? Need a nap.
Bob: Nathan, I saw at the end of the crash video, you gave your Instagram to one of the police officers at the scene. How did he react?
Nathan: That cop specifically actually did not have any social media, but I knew that being the person that I want to be online, I kind of had to sell myself a little bit. Especially on account of what had just happened. So I thought it would be a good idea to even give law enforcement my information to kind of spread the word a little bit and become even more ingrained in the community.
Bob: Were the cops shocked that you were okay after what happened?
Nathan: There was firefighters that had arrived, they were shocked. They even wanted to know what the name of my podcast was.
Alexsey: You can hear in one of the videos them being like, dang, that just happened. Everyone was in shock for sure. I think we as creators [...] I feel like we’ve been asked if this is gonna stop us from doing what we love. But I think we have such a passion for the community and for making art and photography, so we’re definitely gonna keep pursuing it and creating art that speaks to people and we’re excited to share that with people on social media
Nathan: As well as trying to build a community here in Houston based around it. That’s kind of what I’m trying to do with the podcast as well, is just talk to a lot of creative people down here in Houston and try to build a cool creative community.
Alexsey: People can expect a lot more from us on social media.
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