BOSTON — A Windham woman said she was waiting for her daughter to cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon when the first of two explosions on Boylston Street lifted her off her feet and knocked her over Monday afternoon.
Dinah Aldrich said she wasn't able to run and watched a runner being removed from the wreckage with severed legs. She said she also saw a child who was perhaps 6 years old killed in the blast.
"It was horrible," she repeated several times.
Aldrich was about 100 feet from the first explosion waiting for her daughter, Bradi True, of Malden, Mass., to finish the marathon. Her 12-year-old daughter, Logan, and 30-year-old son, Tyler True, were with her. Aldrich had just received a text that her daughter was about three minutes from the finish line.
That was when she heard a loud, "kaboom" and was lifted off her feet, she said. She described the blast as a "mushroom cloud" and reported hearing another blast seconds later.
Getting to her feet, Aldrich remembered her ears ringing and a police officer mouthing to her, "get out, run." She said that's when her son, Tyler, ran toward the explosion, pushing aside a police officer, to find his sister.
There was panic in the crowd, she said, and police told her to, "'Get out of the city, no matter how you have to do it.'"
Aldrich was reunited with her daughter, uninjured, 20 minutes later. Early Monday evening she and her family were trying to leave the city to return home.
Aldrich was among a number of Mainers at the marathon during the explosions.
Elizabeth Kivus of Auburn finished the race in 3 hours and 22 minutes, crossing the finish line about a half-hour before two bombs were ignited there.
According to her mother, Linda Kivus, “we were leaving a parking garage at the Copley (hotel) and had just picked up Elizabeth. We were just leaving and heard a loud explosion,” she said.
Looking down the street toward that sound, Kivus said it “kind of reminded me of a movie, when you see an explosion and then everybody running away. Everybody was running.”
“If she had run a little bit slower,” Elizabeth's father, Jack Kivus, said he didn’t want to think about it. “We were just there.”
According to Linda, as the family turned to leave the city they saw police “going into security mode,” with cruisers and ambulances heading into the city.
“We’re very happy to be out of the city right at this moment,” she said.
According to Bob Brainerd, owner of Central Maine Conditioning Clinic, all of the runners and volunteers whom he knew were in Boston for the race from the Lewiston-Auburn area were accounted for and none of them were hurt.
He estimated as many as nine people were working water stations on behalf of the Maine Track Club, and several people were running the race but had all finished by the time the explosions were reported. “They’re all accounted for,” he said.
Donna Beaulieu, of Lewiston, who volunteered at the marathon, left Boston several hours before the bombs went off. She said she had heard from at least 20 people from Maine who were at the marathon, and none of them were at the blast sites.
Kelly Brown, who along with her husband, Scott, are avid runners and have a team of runners from the Lewiston area, was at the race.
Tim Gilbert, a Lewiston High School graduate who attends school in Boston, had been close to the scene and had started to walk back toward Fenway Park just before the explosions occurred. He'd made it as far as Jerry Remy's restaurant on Boylston Street when the blasts shook the neighborhood.
"We were far enough that we didn't hear it, but a lot of ambulances and cops were going by," Gilbert said. "We didn't think much of it, but then a buddy texted us and said there were two explosions at Copley. We didn't immediately understand the severity of it, and we went into a bar and they had it on all of the TVs. Everyone went from having a great marathon Monday to eerie silence."
According to the Boston Athletic Association, local runners who were registered to compete Monday included Don Hebert of Lewiston, Kacie Herrick of Auburn, Audrey Machowski of Wales, Ryan Metivier of Auburn, Peter Rearick of Hebron, Paula Rousseau of Lewiston, Travis Bashaw of Auburn, Dan Crocker of Bethel, Vicki Bryant of Sabattus, Maureen Sproul of New Gloucester, Billy Nicols of Rumford, Beth Allen of Farmington, Christie Tabbi-Tebbetts of Lisbon, Michael Ulrey of Auburn, Amos Woodward of Auburn, Dan Works of Greene and Merrily Welch of Temple.
Attempts to reach some of these runners have been unsuccessful because of spotty cellphone coverage in the Boston area immediately after the explosions were reported.