The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 19, 2013

NK man hands out medals; then chaos

Shortly after bombs detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, North Kingsville resident Don Lee became involved in the hellish chaos that prevailed Monday.

Lee was handing out finishers’ medals shortly before 3 p.m., when he heard a huge explosion a block away.

“I looked to the left and saw smoke and thought it was a party, a celebration,” he said. “We were really busy ... then a second (explosion) went off and I thought, ‘Oh my God, something else is going on.’”

Lee didn’t know it at the time, but two bombs exploded near the finish line, killing three people, including an 8-year-old boy, and injuring more than 113 people. Video from the scene showed two bombs about 20 seconds apart off the course at the finish.

“People started shouting, ‘Leave the street!’ Everyone started running in the opposite direction from the course,” Lee said. “I wanted to help but at the same time, I wanted to run.”

Lee, a marathon runner who has run in the Boston Marathon a dozen times in the past, knew how participants covet the medals he was handing out. He didn’t want to just leave them in the street. It seemed people were dropping everything and running away.

“I helped load the medals into a truck to get them off the street,” he said. “We cleaned the way for ambulances to get through.”

Then, Lee ran.

When he stopped to rest, he called his wife and son, Brian, (who were in Cambridge) to tell them what had happened and that he was safe. Lee and Brian ran the Marathon together in 1996.

“I looked for transportation, but there was none,” Lee said. “I walked and I ran but I wanted to help.”

Then there was a third explosion at the John F. Kennedy presidential library, so Lee had to run in another direction. Police later said that explosion appeared to be caused by a fire.

Text Only
Local News
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday