Woman wanted to make 2nd visit to park, then saw chaos break out Victim of shrapnel released from hospital

July 30, 1996|By KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE

ATLANTA -- A brief walk through Centennial Olympic Park was enough for Columbus, Ga., resident Beverly Davis to want to make a return trip.

"We had just driven up on Friday and attended two basketball games. We had come through the park before the games. I wanted to see more of the park," Davis, 46, said yesterday during a telephone interview from her hospital bed in Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta.

Davis suffered shrapnel wounds to her right leg after a homemade pipe bomb exploded early Saturday morning in the park. The explosion killed one woman and a Turkish photographer died en route to cover the blast. At least 111 people were injured.

"It was the loudest sound I ever heard in my life, then came a vibration," said Davis, who is a teacher in Columbus State University's math development department.

There was chaos in the park following the blast, said Davis, who was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon. She plans to spend some time in the Atlanta area before returning home.

Almost immediately, she said, ambulances began lining up, and medical personnel and people in the park began helping victims, she said.

"I kept saying, 'I've been hit,' and I'm not sure if my brother understood what I was saying at first," Davis said. "I asked for a tourniquet and someone passing by took his shirt off and gave it to me."

Davis told her brother and sister about her injuries so they could get help.

"Later my brother called to let the family know what had happened and my sister was able to ride in the ambulance with me," Davis said. "That gave me a lot of comfort."

Davis also got some comfort through telephone calls from members of her church, Fourth Street Baptist.

"They have been so responsive," Davis said.

Church members are thankful that Davis' injuries were not as severe as they could have been, said the Rev. Johnnie H. Flakes, the church's pastor.

"We've prayed for her and with her," Flakes said.

Davis and her siblings had gone back to see some more of the park after the Dream Team finished its basketball game. They were listening to an outdoor concert when the explosion happened.

Pub Date: 7/30/96

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