Published On: Sun, Apr 21st, 2013

Joe Berti, witnesses both Boston bombing and Texas explosion, praises God

Joe Berti has a unique story to tell which sounds almost impossible to believe.

A bomb exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon moments after Berti finished the race. Two days later, he was in his home state of Texas when he saw a fertilizer plant explode near Waco.

“I was just like, `I can’t believe this!'” said 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.”

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Berti and his wife were just meters from the finish line in Boston Monday when the bombs, reportedly set by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother – went off.

After flying home to the Lone Star State, he was driving down I-35 when the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion occurred, peppering his car with debris.

In both cases, Berti emerged unscathed, though surely shaken up.

“It’s a miracle,” he said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. “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.”

“We’re grateful that God has been merciful to us,” said Berti’s wife, Amy. “We are just praying for the people who were so much less fortunate than we were.”

“I had just run to the finish line and… (moments) later I heard the first explosion, and then turned around and saw the smoke,” he said. “I knew immediately that it was a bomb. … Then the second explosion occurred and I saw a wave of people running.”

At that point, he said, he was so exhausted he couldn’t run anymore. He worried about getting caught in a stampede.

On Wednesday, he had a daylong meeting in Dallas, followed by a museum tour. He was heading home on Interstate 35 and nearing Waco Wednesday night when he saw black smoke up ahead to his left. As he drove closer, he saw – and felt – his second explosion in two days.

“You’ve got to be kidding!” he remembers thinking.

“My next reaction was to get out of there because something fell on the top of my car – some debris or something fell from the sky,” he said.

“I’m like, `Honey, what is with your luck? Why are you in all of these places?” Amy Berti said. When a reporter suggested that Joe should stay home for a while, she joked, “We need to keep him moving. Maybe he just needs to stand in an open field.”

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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