ROCKY RIVER, OH – As soon as news broke three people were killed and dozens more were wounded in London, families across the world panicked. Many families thinking of their own loved ones in London. That includes the family of Fox 8`s Jessica Dill. Jessica’s cousin, Christie Klima, of Rocky River, was just three miles away at the time of the attack.
Klima is a student at Fordham University and is studying abroad in London this semester. Her classroom is just down the road from the attack on Westminster Bridge.
“I was sitting in class and had my phone in front of me and all of a sudden I got popups saying there is an attack near parliament,” Christie told Jessica in a Skype interview. “You think the worst, you think oh my goodness, there is a going to be a bomb or a terror attack or a mass shooting.”
Christie says she walked outside and wasn’t allowed to go down certain roads. She said there was a lot more police force and armed police officers. Transportation was down but she says the London administration handled everything very well.
“You see so much happening around the world you just don’t think you’re ever going to be that close to the situation,” Christie said. “I was just counting my blessings I was in the right place at the right time. I could have been sightseeing down the road. It’s a scary reminder that things can happen anywhere.”
Friends and family back home in Cleveland were all relieved when she was able to check herself in as ‘safe’ on Facebook. It’s a tool to help people near attacks and disasters let their families back home know they’re okay.
Christie’s mother, Jeanne Klima, a teacher as St. Christopher says what she and her husband went through Wednesday was terrifying.
“This is the worry every parent has when they send their child overseas,” Jeanne Klima said. “Every day I get up and say my morning prayers and then check the news.”
Jeanne said she got a text message from her brother about the incident and then immediately texted Christie. Fortunately, Christie was able to respond right away.
“I was reassured because Fordham also sent an email to all the parents letting us know every student was accounted for and they immediately went into procedures for keeping the students safe,” Jeanne said. “That was my concern, not only my own daughter, but all the children studying overseas.”
Jeanne Klima says she hopes the good memories Christie has from London will outweigh this tragedy.
“This is a dream she’s had since she was a little girl and I don’t think you can stop living and you can’t put the dreams on hold,” Jeanne said.
“It can happen everywhere so I try not to live in fear,” Christie added. “I’m taking this experience as something that’s a once in a lifetime thing to do. I’m not going to let this ruin all the good memories I’ve made and hope to continue to make.”
The Klimas say they’re thankful for the police in London for handling it so quickly and they’re thinking and praying for the families who did lose loved ones.