Va. family shares video, experience of bombing at Boston Maratho - FOX 10 News |

Va. family shares video, experience of bombing at Boston Marathon

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Some of the local participants in the Boston Marathon are still coming back to the Washington D.C. area. The Walls family of Arlington, Va., came back on a midday flight.

They took pictures and video of the race, the bombing, and the panic among spectators, and they shared those pictures and video with local reporters.

John Walls was seated directly across the street from the location of the first bomb.

"You felt the blast, you [felt] the heat," recalled Walls. "You could smell the sulfur ... it took about two or three seconds to get your bearings, and get a feeling for what's going on here. And then to look down the way to figure out how are we going to get out, and the other bomb goes off."

John Walls turned on the video record function of his cell phone, and captured the sound of the second blast, then immediately guided his group (which included a developmentally disabled person) away from the scene. His video shows a certain amount of panic among the spectators during their hasty departure from the grandstands.

The mother and daughter in the Walls family were about eight minutes from the finish line when police began blocking their path.

"You know, I'm high-fiving people," said Katie Walls, 23. "And then they just say 'No one's finishing.' And so we're all looking around. Hundreds of people are starting to stack up around us, like, 'No one's finishing?' And then you just looked out and people are flooding out of their apartments and flooding out of their townhomes, saying, 'There's been an accident. There's been an explosion.'"

The mother and daughter then realized that John Walls was at the finish line where the bombs went off. They ran and walked for 45 more minutes, heading for their hotel.

"We're borrowing cell phones," explained Cindy Walls, the mom in the family, who was running her 17th Boston Marathon. "We still [didn't] know if [her husband and sister were] safe. And then we finally got a call out to my middle daughter (who lives here in D.C.) sand she was able to tell us they're safe. And so, at that point, we just lost it."

Cindy Walls, at that point, gestured under her eyes to indicate that crying took place when they learned that John Walls was safe.

Both mother and daughter are determined to go back to Boston next year and run the marathon again.

"You can't live your life in fear. I mean, you just can't," said Cindy Walls, shaking her head.

A half dozen other Washington-area runners told us the same thing: they all intend to go back to Boston next year to run in the marathon.

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