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'Boy, I was just running, looking everywhere'

By Kelly Hochenauer

April 20, 1995

Todd Pendleton had just dropped off his 2-year-old son, Evan, at the YMCA Day Care Center in downtown Oklahoma City. Then he felt and heard the blast several blocks away.

"I thought somebody had rear-ended me. I just kept looking back and then I saw smoke," Pendleton, 31, said.

"I thought the smoke looked close to the YMCA so I whipped it around and started heading back. When I got closer, I could see smoke coming from the Y. I pulled over and started running toward the building. "

Pendleton said as he approached the YMCA, he could see workers already carrying children outside.

"Boy, I was just running, looking everywhere for Evan. " He found his son in the arms of a YMCA day-care worker. "He was cut a little, not bad. He was just taking it all in. " Pendleton said he began helping the day-care workers with injured children. "I did not know what had happened or where all the smoke was coming from. Then I looked up and saw the federal building and part of it was just gone. That was a big-time bomb. "

Pendleton said one small boy had a gash on his forehead and was losing consciousness periodically. Pendleton passed his son to a worker and rushed the more severely injured child to a nearby ambulance.

The ambulance workers were treating people at the scene and Pendleton said he realized he would have to take the boy to the hospital on his own. After informing the YMCA staff, he and one of the day-care workers took Evan and the injured child to St. Anthony Hospital until the child's parents arrived.

"Parents and children were separated. Everyone was pretty upset. " Pendleton said he was impressed by the commitment shown by the YMCA staff. "They were all hurt and bloody and just thinking about the kids. They were really on the ball. Some of the kids were hurt pretty bad. "

2005 The Oklahoman, NEWS 9 and Oklahoma City National Memorial.
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