Marathon Runner Has Misfortune of Witnessing Boston Bombings and Texas Explosion

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterApril 19, 2013

Photo credit: AP (via The Daily Mail)
Photo credit: AP (via The Daily Mail)

Hundreds of people were present at the national tragedies in Boston and West, Texas this past week, but can you believe that one man was there for both of them?  

The Daily Mail reports that Joe Berti, a Texas native, was at the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and injured more than 180, and also experienced the fertilizer plant explosion that killed a dozen people and injured 200 in West, Texas. 

So, is the 43-year-old the unluckiest guy in the world, or the most fortunate? 

Joe Berti, 43, could be considered the unluckiest man in the world for being so close to both horrific disasters.

Instead, he feels fortunate that he escaped from both tragedies unscathed. 

'I was just like, "I can't believe this!"' said Mr Berti, who said he had never witnessed an explosion before. Then he thought: 'I just want to get out of here and get away from all these explosions.'

Near the end of the marathon, he began to slow his pace from exhaustion before finally reaching the finish line. Instead of being met with great joy and relief, he faced a gruesome scene. 

As it turns out, Berti's wife Amy was just yards from one of the explosions but was unharmed by the blast. It seems she and a friend had just snapped a picture of Berti crossing the finish line and were leaving to greet him when the first bomb went off. 

Remarkably, both came away with minimal injury despite being hit by shrapnel. According to the Daily Mail report, a woman next to Berti's wife lost her leg. 

The couple would reunite at the hotel and later traveled back home to Austin. Unfortunately, this was not the last time Joe Berti came extremely close to disaster.

As the report states, on his way back from a work-related meeting he had in Dallas, Berti spotted the terrifying sight of billowing smoke on the highway. 

He drew near before experiencing the massive explosion, one that devastated the town of West, Texas, leveling 50 houses. 

The first thought that came to the runner's mind sums up things perfectly: "You've got to be kidding!" 

He continued driving after shrapnel began raining down on his car, and managed to get out of the danger zone without injury. 

Being so close to such tragedy would drive some people mad. Thankfully, the Berti's have held onto the one thing that keeps them grounded: their sense of humor.

Amy joked, "We need to keep him moving. Maybe he just needs to stand in an open field."

Let's all hope Berti's life is far less eventful from here on out. 


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