Survivors from Hercules Ave. explosion react to Weinbach Ave. incident

Newscast recording
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 5:11 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - For some, last week’s explosion brought back memories of another deadly explosion that happened five years ago in Evansville.

That explosion happened on Hercules Avenue, just a half mile away from the explosion on Weinbach Ave.

“As soon as I found out it was an explosion I was made sick to my stomach,” Tara McKnight said.

Tara is a survivor from the Hercules Ave. explosion. She says the past five years for her family has been tough. With the recent explosion five days ago, they were taken back to 2017 when their lives changed forever.

“[Jesse] being a young kid and getting burnt, like 50 percent of your body burned, going through surgeries and stuff like that, it’s hard,” Jesse’s sister, Jada McKnight said. “It would be hard for any younger child.”

Tara and her son Jesse were in the house that exploded on Hercules back in 2017. They were unsure if they would survive until they made it out of the house.

“At that point I just knew in my head, I was getting ready to go into shock, that we were gonna be okay,” Tara said.

Both Tara and her son were life flighted to Indianapolis where Jesse was placed into a medically induced coma because of his injuries. Two women died in the explosion and another man was critically injured.

“I had went to visit my mom, and I almost passed out because I didn’t even recognize her,” Jada said.

Although Tara and her son survived the explosion, the painful memories revisited their minds as they felt the shake of Wednesday’s incident.

“So close to where ours is, it just, really blows my mind,” Tara said.

Now, Tara says her son is still having to go in for surgeries every few months to help repair deeply scarred tissue.

“For him I would almost imagine it feels like something that he just can’t...get away from,” Jada said.

Through all of his surgeries, Jada remains inspired by her brother’s resilience.

“I’m really proud of how he handles himself and how he’s grown through it,” Jada said. “He doesn’t let it put him down or anything like that...I admire that.”

Although recovering from a traumatic event like that is hard to be at peace with for the McKnight’s, Tara said it’s important to keep moving forward.

“You have to move forward,” Tara said. “You just have to, that’s human nature. You have to keep going.”

The cause of the Hercules Ave. explosion is still undetermined, as is the explosion on N. Weinbach Ave.

Click here for the latest update on the N. Weinbach Ave. explosion.

Copyright 2022 WFIE. All rights reserved.