NewsCovering Kern County


Local Route 91 survivors continue to heal, one year later

Posted at 6:14 PM, Oct 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-01 21:14:42-04
Nathan and Christina Oleson celebrated their four year anniversary at the Route 91 Festival last year, as they do every year.  
“We were sitting right in the front row on the right hand side of the stage, next to the Mandalay Bay," said Nathan. 
And Nathan, just hearing news of his mother's progressive cancer days before. 
“For whatever reason, that is when the situation with my mom hit me the most. I was feeling kind of emotional. Not really on my toes as far as paying attention," said Nathan. 
It was then when they started hearing what seemed to be fireworks.  
“I don't think that I wanted to believe that it was real. But I just felt a burning sensation on my arm," said Christina. 
 Grazed by a bullet, Christina quickly realized they were under attack and pulled Nathan down to the ground, where they waited.
“It was like being in the middle of a battlefield unarmed. We had no place to take cover we were literally in the front," said Christina. 
The couple was in the deadliest spot in the area. 
"We [finally] were able to run to the back the to a Budweiser cart. As soon as we got there the gentleman who was running the cart grabbed Christina and I, pushed us against the car and shielded us," said Nathan.
When it finally stopped, they ran back to their hotel, where they were finally safe. 
“Trauma? Less. I mean it doesn't really seem to go away. I can say is that I can get used to it," said Nathan 
Months after the Route 91 Festival, Nathan's mother passed away. It took a toll on him. 
As for Christina, she has had had a handful of surgeries after damaging her ankles while running. She is still waiting for another this year. 
“I kind of approached it as an opportunity. I can either let this restrict me or I can move forward and keep going," said Christina. 
The couple banded together with multiple survivors at Las Vegas' Healing Garden, commemoration site near the Las Vegas sign and the Jason Aldean concert this past weekend. 
They say they are continuing to heal and grow stronger together.
“Although I still wish I understood the reason why he decided to open fire on the crowd that night. I realize that whatever he had intended. It didn't work at all.
“It has only made us stronger,” said Christina. 
 The couple also say they are in contact with the man who shielded them that night and are planning to meet him very soon.