BOSTON (CBS) – Steve Byrnes and his friends arrived just seven or eight minutes before the first bomb.
They were standing practically on top of the second bomb that went off at the Boston Marathon.
“The first one went off there was a huge cloud of smoke,” Byrnes told WBZ-TV. “We were trying to jump the barricade just to get away from the rush of the crowd and the panic you know it was straight turmoil with everyone,just a flood of people running toward us.”
Byrnes came out of the smoke not knowing where he was.
Byrnes said he couldn’t find the friends he had been with moments earlier.
“I obviously knew I was hurt but I knew I was functional and could carry and you know walk and do what I had to do and there were other priorities so I kept telling the police officers and stuff you know take care and just go, go to the other people, I’ll be alright,” he said.
Byrnes was taken to Beth Israel Hospital suffering from burns on his right side as well as gashes from shrapnel and pellets.
Doctors had to leave three bb pellets in Byrnes’ body.
This weekend, Byrnes was honored by throwing out the first pitch at the Red Sox game at Fenway Park.
Byrnes’ friends – two brothers – both lost legs in the bombings. Byrnes said he is eager for the group to go to a Red Sox game when they heal.
He said if he was able to talk to the suspect he would just ask “why?”
“Everybody out there that did something that was there, from the citizens that helped us to the police and ambulance drivers to the doctors and nurses, everybody, you were phenomenal, Byrnes said.
Funds have been set up to help Byrnes and his friends who lost their legs.
Donations can be made to the JP and Paul Norden Benefit in Care of Mass Family Credit Union P.O. Box 615 Lynn, MA 01903
Donations for Byrnes can be made on a website set up to cover his medical costs and expenses.