Last Modified: Thursday, April 18, 2013 12:23 AM
Geoff Landry had finished the Boston Marathon and was sitting in a restaurant with his family Monday, watching runners go by after they finished the race.
“Then everything just stopped,” the Lake Charles native said. “There were no more runners coming out, and I knew the race couldn’t be over.”
The Landrys soon found out that two bombs had gone off, one of them at the finish line.
Authorities said the bombs killed three people and injured more than 170.
“You began to wonder, ‘Where is everybody?’ ” Landry said. “All you could hear were sirens and horns. You didn’t realize what was going on; you started seeing black unmarked cars with sirens blaring through the barricades.”
Like other witnesses, it was through technology that the Landrys learned what had happened.
“All of a sudden my phone started going off and my wife’s phone started going off,” Landry said.
Landry was one of five local runners in the race, joining Stephanie Moss of Lake Charles, Kenneth Istre and David Howard of Sulphur, and Scott Cushing of Leesville. The Landrys quickly got to their car and headed out of the city to their hotel.
When they began to look at photos from the event, they realized that the family had been rooting for Geoff across the street from where the second bomb went off.
They had moved on to greet him once he completed the race.
“A lot of weird things happened that they were in the right place at the right time and safe,” Landry said.
Former Lake Charles resident Lindsay Lumpkin Colvin and her husband, Clay Colvin, were on their first trip ever away from their two young children.
They had taken the children with them the year before, when Lindsay ran the Boston Marathon for the first time, but took the trip alone this year.
“That was the heartbreaking part to find out children had been killed and it could have been ours,” Lindsay said.
Clay, who calls himself a “second-time supporter” and Lindsay a “second-time runner,” was waiting for Lindsay while she got an after-marathon massage.
From where she was in the John Hancock Building, she “heard nothing and felt nothing.”
A block away from the explosion, Clay heard it and felt it, but didn’t know it was a bomb.
“It sounded like construction just because it echoed off the buildings,” he said. “It was really loud, but no one really knew what was going on. Even a block away, probably thousands of people didn’t know what was going on.”
He learned that bombs had gone off through social media and through a phone call from Lindsay’s dad, Brent Lumpkin.
“The way the information got out was interesting, through Facebook and Twitter,” Clay said. “One of the first pictures I saw was on Twitter. It became real at that moment.”
As nonstop sirens blared through the area, Clay and Lindsay attempted to contact each other, but couldn’t get through to each other on their cellphones. They finally communicated through voicemails.
“It was a scary experience just being there at the moment,” Clay said. “It was probably more scary for me personally because I couldn’t find Lindsay for a little bit.”
“The whole thing is so sad to me,” Lindsay said. “It’s such a special event and such a happy event and this tragedy will coat it forever.
“I’m so thankful my kids were not there, and I just feel sorrow for those kids who were there who saw what they saw.”
Similarly, Landry talked of a great family weekend in Boston that included a trip to Fenway Park, but ended bitterly.
“It was fantastic, just a beautiful day, then it was all over,” Landry said. “Why doesn’t even matter at this point, just the fact that it happened. You think that could have been your family standing right there. It was gut-wrenching.”