Tuscarora couple days, miles away from being 9/11 victims
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Tuscarora residents Dorothy and Joe Toney hold elevator ticket stubs they received while at the top of World Trade Center One. The stubs are dated less than three days prior to the attacks at the World Trade Center. Dorothy, who had flown to visit her mother in Marion Center, the next day, was also witness to Flight 93 crash coverage, which was less than 40 miles away.
"Wouldn't it be scary if one of those planes crashes into the World Trade Center?" That is a question Joe Toney asked his wife, Dorothy, as he described planes flying below them while looking down from the top of the World Trade Center One on September 8, 2001.
Taking a trip to New York to visit friends, the couple never thought they would be so close to becoming victims of a terrorist attack.
Only a few days later, on September 11, 2001 two planes crashed into the towers, killing 2,996 people. The victims included 246 on the four planes (from which there were no survivors), 2,606 in New York City in the towers and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon.
"Before we entered, the Trade Center One, we were amazed by its size,"said Dorothy. "It was so high, we couldn't even see the top."
This was the first time Dorothy had visited the World Trade Center, while Joe had been there once before in the late 70's.
"The elevator ride to the 110th floor was surprisingly fast and smooth," said Joe. "In all, we had a great time in New York."
On Sunday, Joe headed back home to Tuscarora, while Dorothy headed to her mother's home in Marion Center, Pennsylvania.
While sitting outside on the porch with her mother, Dorothy received a call from Joe telling her to turn on the television. Shocked, both discussed how close they were to becoming victims themselves.
"What if they attacked a few days earlier," asked Dorothy.
Continuing to watch the news, Dorothy learned that a plane had crashed 2 miles north of Shanksville, only 4o miles from were she was.
Dorothy decided to head back home. She recalled hearing non-stop news coverage on every radio station during her road trip back to Tuscarora.
Both said, "We can't believe we were that close to both events."
Joe stressed, "We are looking forward to revisiting the site and will never let terrorism keep us from enjoying America!"