One of the two people who died in a bus crash in Colorado on June 23 was a seminarian originally from Staten Island.
Jason Paul Marshall, a seminarian from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe (N.M.), was a chaperone on a trip to an annual Catholic youth conference.
Marshall, 53, was a member of Our Lady of the Annunciation Church in Albuquerque, N.M., and was in his second year of theology.
“He saw the driver in distress, grabbed the wheel and prevented the bus from flipping” as it careened off the highway, saving the lives of 13 passengers, Marshall’s brother, Jeff, said, according to SILive.com. “He tried to get the bus under control.”
Jason Marshall was born in Staten Island and attended the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio.
“Jason never walked away from any incident if he could help,” his mother, Diane Marshall, said.
According to Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Blake White, Marshall and the driver, Anthony L. Padilla, were killed when the bus hit an embankment under a bridge along Interstate 25 near Pueblo, Colo., and crashed. The tour bus was carrying 10 students and five adults.
All 13 survivors were injured and taken to local hospitals, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, including one person in critical condition. As of June 24, at least four patients were discharged from St. Mary’s-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo, according to KRDO.
The youth group from the University of Mexico’s Aquinas Newman Center was traveling back to New Mexico from the Steubenville of the Rockies Catholic Youth Conference, held June 21-23 in Denver.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims of this tragic accident, and we pray for the repose of the souls of those who died,” said Father Dave Pivonka, O.F.M., president of the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, which sponsored the conference. “We also pray for God’s blessing and healing for all those who were injured.”
A Mass of healing and prayer vigil was held June 26 at the University of New Mexico’s Newman Center. It was celebrated by Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester. The memorial Mass for Marshall will be held on June 29 at Our Lady of the Annunciation.
“Jason was a splendid and exemplary seminarian, a humble man who deeply cared for others. He always brightened our spirits and had a positive outlook on life. We will miss him very, very much. May he rest in peace,” Archbishop John C. Wester said in a statement.
Marshall’s funeral will be held Monday, 10 a.m. at Holy Family Church in Staten Island.