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Locals at Boston Marathon

Boston Explosion Reaction

COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - As the events continue to unfold, we're hearing from people in the Valley with friends or loved ones in Boston.  Each of them touched by this tragedy.
We talked with several of them on the phone.  Here are some of their stories.

Keith Bergh, a friend of a Coachella Valley resident says,"It's a dream for any runner to get here."

But it was a dream that quickly turned into a nightmare.

"All of a sudden, it sounded like a cannon," said Jill McMillan.

McMillan was watching the race, and found herself right in the middle of both explosions.  

"It was such a surreal, action movie type of scene, where you see the explosion and it doesn't actually process that it's happening.  But it shook my whole body and my ears were ringing from the blast, our ears didn't stop ringing until maybe an hour later," said McMillan.

Jenna Tourje, who grew up in La Quinta,  watched a few miles away.

"I was actually along the marathon along mile 21 so not near the finish line but definitely got word of the explosions I had some friends who were running, I am safe and sound I don't know anybody who was injured," said Jenna Tourje.  
Keith Bergh already finished running the race, his 5th Boston Marathon.kieth bergh phoner.jpg

"People were walking by me, just sobbing.  I started to hear what happened, I heard the explosions, everyone was running or jogging away from the scene just with tears," said Bergh.

"To have something like this happen is just so unthinkable, and frustrating and you can't even put into words how confusing it is,"said McMillan.

Bernyce Dawson, whose cousin lives in the Valley, works only five blocks away.  Dawson's sister was watching the race near finish line right before the explosion.
"My phone wasn't working for like an hour and a half, it was hard to find her there is so many people there is like airplanes flying everywhere and I'm like I'm from California I'm not used to all of this happening," said Dawson.

Dawson's sister and her family are okay but, shaken up.

"I'm a little on edge and I think most people are like that now," said Dawson.

"I think there's going to be a lot of anger and a lot of frustration, but we're going to power through," said McMillan.

"Can't live life in fear, but I think it'll be interesting to see this race in the future and how it evolves and what kind of security measures get put in place to make sure this never happens again," said Bergh.

"Send happy thoughts this way to Boston say a prayer God help us," said Dawson.

If you know someone who was at the Boston Marathon send us an email at

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