The Associated Press reports
that Joe Berti of Austin, Texas had just finished running Monday's Boston Marathon when twin terror blasts
rocked the finish line area, killing 3 people and wounding more than 170 others. Two days later, Berti was driving south on Interstate 35 after returning home to Texas when he witnessed the huge explosion
that tore through a fertilizer plant in the town of West, killing 13 people and injuring around 200 others.
"I was just like, 'I can't believe this!," Berti told the AP. "I just want to get out of here and away from all these explosions," thought the 43-year-old Texan who'd never seen one before Monday.
Berti, who crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon 30 seconds before the first bomb went off, called his ordeal "a miracle."
"People keep saying, 'Don't you feel unlucky?' and I was actually the opposite-- saying not only do I not feel unlucky, but I feel blessed that my wife could be 10 yards from the explosion and not have a scratch."
Berti, his wife Amy, and eight members of his running group were in Boston when the blasts occurred. They were running with Cheyanna's Champions4Children
, a charity serving children with rare and undiagnosed diseases. No one in the group was hurt.
"We're grateful that God has been merciful to us," Amy told the AP. "We are just praying for the people who were so much less fortunate than we were."
After returning home to Texas, Berti had a business meeting to attend in Dallas. As he was driving home on I-35 approaching Waco on Wednesday night, he saw and felt the massive blast that destroyed the West Fertilizer Company plant.
"You've got to be kidding!" was his thought as he watched a massive fireball mushroom into the sky. He told the AP the blast reminded him of a nuclear explosion. Berti drove through a smoke cloud, fearing that debris from the explosion would land on his vehicle. He was eventually able to phone Amy.
"I'm like, 'honey, what is with your luck? Why are you in all of these places?'" Amy Berti told the AP. "We need to keep [Joe] moving. Maybe he just needs to stand in an open field."