Mention?the name “Midnight?Assassin” and people immediately remember one of the most horrific and deadly vehicular crashes in Barbados.
On the afternoon of October 18, 1989, a ZM?driven by a young man overtook a minibus and collided with a Transport Board bus which was coming around a bend along Black Rock Main Road, St Michael. Two people were killed instantly while another died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).
Several people travelling in both vehicles also received serious injuries.
For the first time since that deadly crash 24 years ago, driver Roy Marshall, who was only 23 years old at the time, has publicly come out to tell his many victims he’s sorry.
“I regret it every day and I?want to tell them that I am sorry,” Marshall told the SUNDAY?SUN during a telephone interview, as he revealed that the crash haunts him up to this day.
At the time of the accident Marshall had only been driving the public service vehicle for three months. It had the name D Midnight Assassin splashed on the front windscreen and Shotgun Rider on the back. It plied the Wanstead, St Michael route.
After the accident, Marshall jumped out of the van and ran to his nearby home in Dodson Land, Black Rock.
Admitting that a “fear” and a “lot of other emotions”?overtook him on that day, Marshall said he ran home to the one person who could give him comfort – his father.
“That day was my off day but I went out to work. I started at 8:30 a.m. after working for 18 hours the day before. If I could go back to October 18, 1989 I would have stayed in my bed. I would never have gone to work,” said an emotional Marshall, who was sentenced to two years in prison for reckless driving.
Today he is married, has a three-year-old daughter and is also a devout Christian. But Marshall says he has never forgotten the crash or his victims.
“Some people think that I have no feelings, that there has been no repercussions, but I wanted to go to each of them and tell them how sorry I was,” he said.
“I even wanted to go to the funerals but emotions were high and people were threatening my life, so my lawyer advised me not to do it.
“But it has not been easy for me. I?have to pass that road to and from home, not every two weeks, not every three months, but every single day and I see that accident as clear as I am looking at it now. For many nights I?could not sleep. I?have not slept since you telephoned me. For two years I?was just in a shell. I don’t even remember what happened at the court case – I was in a different world, I was in space.”
His life has became so sheltered after the crash that Marshall said he remained in his job for the past several years because he was afraid to do job interviews.
“I did not want to face other people. I did not want to sit down and be interviewed and have to talk about it,” he admitted.
That error in judgement which claimed three lives will always remain a part of him.
“Do you think I would ever forget Ezra Springer, Livingston Watson or Victor Clarke?” he said as he recited the names with ease. “I?never will.”