A seminarian who died in a bus crash last week on the way to New Mexico from a Catholic youth conference in Denver often said that priests have to be ready to lay down their lives for others.
Reports emerging from the horrific accident, which took the life of one other person, are suggesting that Jason Marshall did just that.
“Priests have to be men. They have to be ready. They have to be shepherds and they have to be ready to stand up and potentially lay their lives down,” Marshall would say, according to the recollection of Matthew Gubenski, a fellow seminarian of Marshall’s at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio.
According to witnesses and the family of Marshall, the 53-year-old tried to regain control of the bus after a reported medical incident with its driver, 22-year-old Anthony Padilla, the Catholic Herald reported.
“He saw the driver in distress, grabbed the wheel and prevented the bus from flipping,” Marshall’s brother Jeff told Staten Island Live.
Most of Marshall’s family lives in New York. Marshall was studying to be a priest for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Though the accident, which took place June 23 near Pueblo, Colorado, is still under investigation, it seemed clear to some observers that Marshall’s jumping into action might have made a big difference. Marshall and Padilla were the only ones killed in the crash, out of the 14 passengers on board, including 10 teenagers.
“A bus that big and so top heavy carrying that kind of momentum, it could have been absolutely disastrous. It could have been so horrible,” Father Rob Yaksich, a priest of the Sante Fe archdiocese, told local ABC affiliate KOAT Channel 7 News.
Read more at Aleteia