ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A beloved leader at an Albuquerque Catholic church is being remembered. Seminarian Jason Marshall was killed in a charter bus crash in Colorado.
Dozens of people gathered on the University of New Mexico’s campus Monday evening for a special mass to pray for Marshall as well as everyone involved in the deadly crash. “He was the kindest, most loving young man ever. I mean, just amazing,” Bernise Medrano said. “We do know where he’s at now.”
It was a special mass to pray for one of their own called ‘home’ too soon. Seminary student Jason Marshall, 53, was killed in a charter bus crash while on his way home from a religious conference in Denver.
The loss hits hardest for parishioners at Our Lady of the Annunciation, where Marshall was a member. “I panicked. I thought oh my gosh is that our Jason? Come to find out it was him. So, it was like what a loss, tragic, tragic loss for our community,” said Medrano, who went to church with Marshall.
The charter bus, driven by Anthony Padilla, drove off I-25 near Pueblo, Colorado on Sunday afternoon. Colorado troopers say the 36-year-old may have suffered a medical episode before the crash.
“I was shocked at first. I couldn’t believe a bus would crash like that,” Bryan Wafford said.
Padilla and Marshall died at the scene. Fifteen other passengers, including children, were taken to nearby hospitals where one adult remains in critical condition. “I want to pray not only for Jason but for all those that were hurt,” Medrano said.
In a private mass Monday evening at UNM’s Newman Center, close friends of Marshall were joined by strangers who wanted to pray for everyone who was killed or injured. “I think that prayers will help, especially prayers from a stranger, just pure love,” Eliana Garcia said.
Marshall is remembered as a rising star in the Catholic church, and above all, a man who loved serving his God. “He was taken home, I thought too soon, but God knows best,” Medrano said.
A Mass of Healing will be held on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the UNM Aquinas Newman Center. The center is also collecting donations for the victims. To donate, click here.