Husband and wife escaped injury in the Boston Marathon bombing and Texas fertiliser plant blast in West
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Friday 19 April 2013
Joe Berti, 43, had just completed the Boston Marathon when the first bomb went off.
He was not hurt in the blast, and neither was his wife Amy, despite the fact that she was standing just 10 yards from the explosion near the finish line. A woman nearby lost a leg.
Theirs was a tale of extraordinary good fortune on a day filled with tragedy and despair. Two days later the couple returned to their home state of Texas, where Joe was due to attend a meeting. Driving back on Interstate-35, more than 1,800 miles from the horror of Boston, they felt the shockwaves from the fertiliser blast in West, Texas.
“I was like: ‘I can’t believe this!’,” Joe said. “Then I thought: ‘I just want to get out of here and get away from all these explosions.’”
It could be considered unlucky to be so close to two disasters in three days, but for Joe Berti it was the opposite. “I just feel blessed that my wife could be [so close to] the explosion and not have a scratch,” he said. As for Amy, she’s hoping that their ordeal is over. “We need to keep him moving,” she said. “Or maybe he needs to stand in an open field.”
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