'There Were Lots of Tears": Oak Knoll Student Meaghan O'Neill Escapes Injury in Boston Marathon

f7db38792d26e06a3b20_ap_photo.jpg
Credits: Associated Press
ecfc6c888b68dbe51cb2_photo.PNG
Meaghan O'Neill
f7db38792d26e06a3b20_ap_photo.jpg
SUMMIT, NJ - When Meaghan O'Neill was making her way toward the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, she had no idea what was going on.
 
The Oak Knoll student saw firsthand the aftermath of the bombings that killed at least three people and injured an estimated 150 people, including runners and spectators.
 
 
"I was far enough back to have neither seen nor heard the bombs go off...then again I may have heard some faint explosion but I was caught up in running," she said. "Plus my first thought definitely would not have been 'Oh that must've been a bomb!' I have a bit more faith in humanity than to step right to that conclusion, although in light of the tragedy, maybe I shouldn't."
 
O'Neill said she didn't find out what was going on until about 20 minutes after the bombs had gone off.

 
"I was running towards the finish, incredibly excited to soon be able to say I've run a full marathon, when I saw from about 200 meters away a big group of runners just stopped on the road," she said. "I was really quite confused at first, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but sure enough, at a little over 25.5 miles, I joined the blockade of people wondering what on earth had just unfolded, both mentally and physically. The police (I think they were policeman, anyway, it's a but of a blur) were at the front of the blockade. My initial thought was 'Damn, this counts as stopping, even though it's not voluntary. Now I can't say I didn't stop!' I actually jogged from the back of the blockade to the front, adamant about truly running the entire race. I still didn't know what had happened at this point."
 
When she got to the front, O'Neill said she "accepted defeat" and proceeded to try to gather information from the conversations going on around her.
 
"And there were some really angry people, let me tell you," she said. "People were cursing the B.A.A. for what was going on, not knowing that in fact a bomb had just gone off, furious that their months and months of training and preparation were being compromised during the last half mile of such a long race. But then I heard someone say 'Oh my God there was a bomb' and then this news spread."
 
People were reading the news on their phones and relaying the message to others and O'Neill said the mood "just suddenly changed."
 
"It was really kind of crazy," she said. "There were lots of tears, mostly, I think, out of uncertainty of the situations of loved ones near the finish line. Not knowing exactly what had happened - there were all sorts of people throwing out all sorts of casualties and injuries and no one knew who was right - was the worst part of my experience yesterday. That uncertainty, that expectation of the worst in desperate hope reality will be better. People fear the unknown for good reason, I'll say that much."
 
After the initial shock had passed, O'Neill said, "people were so lovely."
 
"Everyone was working together, and people who had cell phones were so happy to let those without borrow them to call whomever they needed to reach," she said. "Like always, people came together in a time of tragedy. Why, then, can people not come together in the absence of tragedy? Why couldn't someone reach out to the person who planted the bomb and show him/her some love before he/she went over the edge?"

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Summit

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_6c3705f0d83fcd78b74f_2ab30b66626ffd382f18_adobestock_50725543_child_reading

Wed, May 23, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Ages 1 yr.-K: Storytime Squad

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_45d79e8f8bb0f2094c44_d1fd9ac3c313c38cfd1f_storytimesillhouette

Wed, May 23, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Storytime Squad

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_0de40117d74882eb067b_122a37f8f9e0f55b1807_adobestock_50725543_child_reading

Wed, May 23, 12:00 PM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Age 1 yr.-K: Storytime Squad

Arts & Entertainment Education

Summit Police Blotter

May 17, 2018

4/24 - At 0728 hours a report was taken for a theft of two (2) sandwiches from a business on Morris Avenue. The manager reported that at approximately 0330 hours a male entered the business and removed two sandwiches from a refrigerated case. After doing so, he exited the store without paying for them. The male suspect was described as Hispanic, approximately 6’0”wearing a blue/gray ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Talks Current Events That Could Be Market Movers

May 22, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on CNBC discussing events that could move the market this week:

.ptview.com/medias/tv-radio

​​​For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and comprehensive ...

Dietze Attends Dartmouth Alumni Council Meeting

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, recently took part in the 216th meeting of Dartmouth's Alumni Council in Hanover, NH.

The Dartmouth Alumni Council's mission is to connect Dartmouth alumni to the College and each other.

Stocks Can Rise in a Rising Interest Rate Environment

Investors remain concerned about the potential impact of higher interest rates on stocks. In their most recently released minutes, the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee indicated the US economy is on solid footing and the economic conditions warrant continued gradual increasing of interest rates. This set off a sale in the stock and bond markets as investors began pricing in a fourth ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

Managing the Ups and Downs of First-Time Homebuying

They accepted our offer, now what?

At times both equally exhilarating and terrifying, the purchase of a home can be a total roller coaster ride -- especially when it is your first time going through the process. Between suddenly being expected to understand the intricacies of contracts and the inner workings of a home, you are also expected to start writing checks for amounts you may ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&M@royalwedbot.co.uk.  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...