Scott Bragan was nearing the end of the Boston Marathon when he heard the second explosion

TAMPA - As Scott Bragan made his way on to the final stretch of the Boston Marathon he looked forward to seeing his family who were sitting in the VIP bleachers adjacent to the finish line.

But the impending applause were cut short when the second of two explosion took place.

Boston Marathon explosions

"All of sudden all the runners stopped right there in the route and we were like, 'what is going on?' recalled Bragan, who spoke to ABC Action News Monday night via telephone.

Minutes passed as the confusion lingered.  Runners, many without cell phones, were unaware two bombs went off.  It wasn't until spectators started bringing cell phones to the runners that they learned there was an explosion near the finish line and then another.

"Literally we stood there and really I am thinking I have family that is at the finish line and right at the VIP bleachers there and literally right across the street from where the first blast went off," Bragan said.

Bragan, like many other runners, initially tried running to their loved ones but police stopped them.

"We asked them what was going on.  They wouldn't comment. They said, 'This isn't safe, you need to get out of here.' And as I got closer it kind of looked like a war scene," Bragan explained.

Bragan went on to describe a hectic scene with dozens of ambulances going back and forth with FBI agents and undercover officers flooding the streets.

He said a Good Samaritan noticed him walking aimlessly and came up to help.

"As I was talking to people on the road as I was freezing and cramping up one guy gave me a jacket and then he said, 'Is there anybody you want me to call?'  So I had him call my wife in Tampa who then called my brother and his father who were at the finish line."

Bragan's brother, his wife and his two nieces were no longer at the finish line. 

"They'd run from there a few blocks over and they told, they relayed the message that they were OK but as I was talking to my brother and his wife and nieces, they were right there went the blast went off.   My brother said he looked across and he could see people rushing out.  He saw bodies and all the smoke and they immediately covered their girls and then ten seconds later they heard the second blast."

His family, fearful another bomb would go off, were panicked while on the phone with him.  They decided it was not safe to stay where they were, so according to Bragan, they kept on running to safety.

"He said [my brother], it was quite terrifying," Bragan explained.

Bragan, who is part of a VIP running group, said he left his bag at a finish line tent which is now being used for triage.

"I couldn't even get my phone, any identification, credit cards, license and they quarantined the whole area.  So the hotel was able to set me up for another night."

Bragan told ABC Action News the second blast left him stunned and the whole ordeal left him speechless for several hours.

"I was kind of like a deer in the headlights. I really could not grasp what had happened and so it was kind of a challenge.  So it took me a few hours to sort of unwind and relax," he recalled.

In the hours following the blasts, Bragan said he watched news reports and realized how lucky he was to walk away without any injuries.  He was roughly two minutes behind the second blast.

"You know, you think I was disappointed because I cramped and I had to walk a little bit.  Then I look back and I say. 'Well things work out for a reason.'  So, I was very fortunate that I guess that happened."

Bragan, who expects to return to Tampa Tuesday night, said he will never forget how surreal it was to watch people running up to and hugging their loved ones. 

He will also never forget that his wife and young children were slated to also be waiting for him at that finish line.  Last minute changes prevented them from joining him in Boston.

 

 

Print this article Back to Top

Comments