EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

April 18, 2013

From smiles to shock

City women shaken, friend hit by shrapnel in marathon blast

HAVERHILL — What was supposed to be an enjoyable day having lunch and waiting for family members to cross the Boston Marathon finish line turned to terror for two Haverhill women and their friends.

They felt the power of the bombs that exploded not far from the finish line, and one of the women was hit by shrapnel.

Stacy DiBurro, 41, owner of River Street Auto Body and Diamond Auto Works in Haverhill, said one moment she was standing on a Boylston Street restaurant patio with a drink in her hand and the next moment her drink went flying as she was thrown backwards against other people. One of her friends was thrown to the ground, leaving her bleeding. As of yesterday, DiBurro's ears were still ringing from the sound of the blast, she said.

"We'd just had lunch at the Atlantic Fish Company and we were on the outside patio at standing tables waiting for family members to cross the finish line," DiBurro said. "Then we heard the first blast, which sounded like a canon, and you knew something was wrong.

"We turned to look and saw smoke rising the air," she said. "Then seconds later, there was another blast. I got knocked off my feet and fell backwards," she said. "My friend Denise got knocked to the ground and I just screamed. We saw red and we saw smoke. We all held hands and ran inside the restaurant."

DiBurro was with friends Sera Manzi and Tara Ryan, both of Haverhill, Christine Lewis of Goffstown, N.H., and Denise Spenard of Manchester, N.H.

Spenard, 46, a purchasing director for Easter Seals in Manchester, said her drink went flying. At first, she thought it was the first blast that knocked her over, but her friends believe it was the second explosion.

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