Exclusive: Local woman speaks out about surviving two national massacres

Exclusive: Local woman speaks out about surviving two national massacres
Boston Marathon and Virginia Tech
Boston Marathon and Virginia Tech

CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH (WOIO) - For one local Boston Marathon runner, last week's bombing was not the first violence she had survived, she was also on campus for the Virginia Tech massacre.

In Boston, Kelly Willard had finished the race and was two blocks away when the bombs went off.

At Virginia Tech she was on lock down two buildings away from the mass shooter.

"You think that nothing like that'll ever happen again," Willard told our Dan DeRoos. "To go through something like that massacre and then the thing at Boston, and then I definitely had flash backs of Virginia Tech."

For Willard, who is from Cuyahoga Falls, this was her first Boston Marathon.

During the mass shooting she was on lock down for 12 hours in a room with no windows and limited contact with the outside. The feelings of not knowing she says, is similar to wondering if there were more bombs in Boston and who was responsible.

"The timeline at Virginia Tech was there was two hours in between two different shootings and so that shooter was still on the loose, until he killed himself," said Willard.

In both cases her husband was in the same area and it was tough getting a hold of him.

Willard says, "You feel very blessed at the end to come through it okay but it is very scary when it's happening. And you just wonder why did I get out okay and other people didn't and that's hard too to try to because your heart breaks from people that did that were affected."

For Willard there is a lesson in surviving two unimaginable acts of violence.

"Just teaches me it can happen anywhere though. A small-town Blacksburg, Virginia and a big city like Boston. You just have to keep on living and do what you want to do because you don't know when something like this is going to happen. What are the odds you know?"

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