Family 'lucky to be alive' after Boston bombings
Nancy Weber, her husband, Kevin, and their 19-year-old daughter Rachael were excited. The family was riding the train to Boston to cheer on friends, Michael and Tara, who were running in the 117th Boston Marathon. The Norton residents positioned themselves by the finish line on Boylston Street where they were guaranteed a clear view as their friends ran past. They stood below the colorful flags representing the countries of all the runners participating.
On any other Marathon Monday most spectators would consider their post lucky, but on Monday, April 15 it was anything but.
“We are lucky to be alive,” Nancy said.
Their friend Michael crossed the finish line and Nancy kept her cellphone video rolling to digitally capture her friend Tara.
Shortly after Michael finished the race is when the first explosion occurred.
“I immediately knew we were under attack,” Nancy said. “It was very loud.”
She looked over at her daughter. Even though Rachael is deaf, Nancy said her daughter felt the vibrations and an expression of fear took over her face.
“Run,” Nancy screamed.
Seconds later the second explosion went off.
“I grabbed Rachael’s hand and just kept screaming run! run!,” Nancy said.
She described what happened next as total mayhem. Spectators panicked, many fell down and others were trampled.
Looking back as she ran, she said she saw the black smoke, leftover from the explosions.
The family turned a corner and Nancy tried to call her sister. Through gasps of air she explained what was going on. Then the cell phone went dead.
Her thoughts immediately went to her 13-year-old son Joseph, who didn’t make the trip but was back home at a friend’s house.
“I was fearful I would never see him again,” Nancy said.
She was able to text her sister, but the message she sent was frightening.
“I don’t know if we’re going to make it out of here,” she wrote.
Her husband suggested they run to a nearby T station and get on a train, but Nancy said there was no way she was getting on the subway.
It was mass confusion, she said, no one knew where to run or which direction to go.
Her brother-in-law had driven into Boston to watch the marathon with them, but he was already headed home.
“They had left earlier because they said they were cold,” Nancy said.
The Webers tried to reach him and got lucky, he hadn’t left the city yet and was parked only a street away.
Nancy said the family raced to where he was and flew out of Boston as fast as they could.
“Being a mom, that close to a terrorist attack,” Nancy said. “I will never recover from this”.
The two confirmed bombs that went off during the 117th Boston Marathon killed three and injured more than 140.
In a morbid twist of fate, it was the misfortune of others that saved her family from injury.
“We were blocked by the people that got hurt,” she said.
Back in Norton, the Webers received a flurry of texts and emails asking if they were okay. Thankfully she was able to respond that everybody was safe, including her friends that were running.
“I’ll never take another day for granted,” she said. “My mother just passed away, we had an angel.”