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‘Makes you think about the smaller decisions we make’

By Ann Butler Herald staff writer

As the investigation into the background of the Tsarnaev brothers continues in the wake of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing, more local connections to the tragedy are unfolding.

Former Durangoan Kyle Hunstiger was one block away when the explosions occurred. He works as a northeast regional vice president for a financial firm and is based in Boston.

“We felt it. It was kind of like a cannon going off,” Hunstiger said. “We saw a mass of people running – a mass of people running and crying and covered with blood – so in about 30 seconds, we realized how serious it was.”

Hunstiger and a friend were on their way home from a Red Sox game and had cut over a block to avoid the marathon crowds on Boylston Street, where the explosions took place.

“It makes you think about the smaller decisions we make,” he said. “If we hadn’t, we would have been right there when the bombs went off. We would have walked right into it.”

Processing what happened during the explosion and its aftermath is ongoing, he said.

“It took a while to sink in – how connected we all were to it, and how small Boston became,” Hunstiger said. “And then, of course, we were on lockdown in our house during the search.

“It was a very sad event, but seeing all the kindness that came afterward made the normally cool Bostonians seem so warm,” he said.

Hunstiger graduated from Durango High School in 2005 and from Fort Lewis College in 2009. He is the son of Dr. Jonathan and Kris Hunstiger.

Another FLC graduate, Joslynn S. Lee, was running half the marathon with Team with a Vision. She was a guide for visually impaired runner Davd Kuhn and ran under his name and bib number. They were unable to finish because of the bombing.

“I knew over 30 friends running the marathon, and I had no idea if anyone was hurt,” she said in an email. “I later found out it was the spectators who suffered most. It was a waiting game, since cellular service was stopped.”

Lee and Kuhn were able to make it to the Massachusetts Association for the Blind Community Services Building a few blocks from the course.

“I live just a few blocks from the finish, so it is very close to home,” she wrote. “I have been trying to comprehend the tragic events that occurred over marathon day.”

Lee, Class of 2006 at FLC, is pursuing a doctorate in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University.

abutler@durangoherald.com

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