Baltimore Mom’s Son Landed In Japan Just Before Earthquake

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A Baltimore mother finally speaks with her son who happened to land at Tokyo’s airport just as the earthquake struck.

As Suzanne Collins explains, hours passed before she learned he was alive.

Oliver Jones of Mount Vernon spent six hours outside the airport after the earthquake, eight hours trying to get a taxi a few miles to Tokyo, and walked for an hour to his friend’s home.

Jones is a 33-year-old clothing designer who flies to Japan a few times a year on business. He had just landed at Narita airport and was at customs when the quake struck.

“He said it was so scary,” said Lola Jones, Oliver’s mother. “It was crazy. Lights were falling out of the ceiling and coming down and they were evacuated immediately outside of the airport.”

Oliver Jones parents’ Lola and Bob live in Homeland, and they’ve been worried sick about him since Friday morning when they turned on the news.

“I heard and I’m like ‘This can’t be. Is he there yet? Did he leave yet?’ And I’m sure he’s there,” said Lola Jones.

While Lola was on the phone trying to contact Oliver, he left a message on her phone: “Hey, it’s me. I arrived safely to Japan, and promptly had a 8.8 earthquake.”

There was great comfort in knowing he survived, but Lola says she couldn’t speak with her son until late Saturday.

“He said, ‘Cab fare was $500, and with all my luggage I had to walk uphill in the freezing cold,’” recalled Lola.

Now the mother, who still fawns over her only son even though he is a grown man, is finally beginning to relax.

“I was like, ‘Come on, give me a hug.’ And he was like ‘Come on mom, please.’ Why didn’t I grab him and hug him? I had no idea I might not see him again,” Lola said.

Right now Oliver Jones is trying to get out of Japan, but so is everyone else. He doesn’t know when he will be able to get home to Baltimore.

Oliver Jones and his father Bob own Jones Lighting in Towson, where customers have been hearing about the family’s concerns about whether their son was safe.

  • HA?

    Thanks GOD he’s Ok.

  • Phyllis Iervello

    I am so thankful that Oliver is alive and well despite his horrifying ordeal–and I know it’s not over yet–either for him, my dear friends Lola and Bob–nor the millions of Japanese people. We never know what lies ahead of us at any given moment.
    Phyllis Iervello

  • truthteller

    here goes more us jobs and money across seas

    • fred

      Any chance we can get you on a plane there?

  • East Coast

    I just really cannot imagine the level of embarrassment at finding out my mother was interviewed in a local story and the topic of fawning over him, begging him for hugs and comments of “fawning over him” accompanied my photo.

    I am surprised to hear that the man was price gauged on the cab ride though. It’s not the usual spirit of the Japanese people, but I’m sure unscrupulous people exist everywhere.

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