LONDON (FOX 13) - Brad Myers was halfway through what he calls a once-in-a-lifetime trip through Europe when he found himself in the middle of a terrorist attack.
Myers, who is from South Tampa, was walking down the stairs of the London Bridge when he heard a vehicle hit a guardrail. He turned around and saw the vehicle running over pedestrians at what he estimated was 40 mph.
Myers says police arrived about 3 minutes later.
He posted a first person account of the entire event on his Facebook page:
First of all I have to thank God for seeing it fit to protect me this evening in London. I am heartbroken that other families will not be able to enjoy the company of their loved ones anymore after these violent acts of terror.
I'm about halfway through what will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. I was fortunate enough to be given 4 weeks of time off in a row, but it was only approved in mid-April. No one else being able to join me, I planned a last minute solo trek through the capitals of Europe, and am currently touring London before heading to Croatia, Rome and Madrid.
This evening, I went on a long walk from Charing Cross Station to the London Bridge. I followed the Rick Steves guidebook's historical London city walk, gaining a lot of insight into this beautiful city. Thought I missed out on touring St. Paul's Cathedral because I came into town later than expected yesterday, and then had a full day at Stonehenge and Windsor Castle today (St. Paul's is closed to tours on Sundays). But when I came up to St. Paul's, I went inside and participated in a beautiful contemporary worship service with a choir and band. I was also glad to view up close the finest example of Sir Christopher Wren's architecture.
Afterward, it started to rain a bit, so I grabbed an umbrella and continued my walk down Cheapside. I ended the walk past the Monument at the London Bridge, where at 9:59 I took yet another selfie looking out toward the iconic Tower Bridge. Being somewhat disappointed in the pictures (Tower Bridge is next to but not all that close to London Bridge), I proceeded down the staircase on the north side of the Thames to walk further down the river.
About 2 minutes later, I heard a loud noise behind me, which was a vehicle hitting the guard rail. I turned around and saw a white van beginning to plow through the people walking on the pedestrian walkway on the left hand side of the road, where I was standing moments before. I would estimate that at least 20 people were on the walkway on that side. It continued at about 30-40 mph along the guardrail, running over pedestrians, swerving and bouncing off the guardrail. I heard people screaming, though did not hear gunshots. While on the river walk, I saw at least one person jump in the water about midway on the bridge, but did not see them come up from the water. I walked back up the staircase as people started to gather, and saw at least two people laying on the concrete in the road. They were being attended by other bystanders, with a man appearing to hold another's hand (who was not moving). About 3 minutes later, police rushed to the scene, I called my parents and went a few blocks down, catching a cab back to my hotel.
The first picture attached is the one I took at 9:59 right before the attack happened, on the spot where it happened. I attached some other photos of St. Paul's and other sights from my walk as well. I also attached one photo of the immediate aftermath, though it is not too clear, I think we need to observe the terrible things that happened.
I was having a great time on the trip, and had one of the best days so far. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to see these sights and to learn more about European culture. I hope that the politicians will do what it takes to protect our country from the medieval barbarism that is right on our doorstep.
Thanks to all who reached out about my well being - I am very thankful to be alive, and hold out hope that this can come to some positive end, either within me or others. Glory to God!