June 1, 2005 — A St. Thomas police officer died unexpectedly Wednesday after collapsing near the police motor pool in Sub Base. 41-year-old James R. Marrishow, a member of the VIPD Special Operations Bureau, was rushed to Roy L. Schneider Regional Medical Center, but efforts to save his life were unsuccessful.
Officials at the Police Department and the V.I. National Guard confirmed that Marrishow was one of 42 guardsmen on board an ill-fated training flight on May 14. A KC-135 military transport carrying the guardsmen from St. Thomas and St. John was returning to the territory from Florida when the plane encountered clear-air turbulence and dropped about 400 feet in three seconds. Eight guardsmen were hospitalized. Seven were later released. National Guard officials say one guardsmen, still in the hospital, recently underwent surgery to treat incident-related injuries.
Marrishow was among the group of 36 guardsmen who underwent medical evaluation upon returning to St. Thomas and was released. Amos Carty, spokesman for Schneider Regional Medical Center said Wednesday the cause of Marrishow's death was unknown and would probably be determined in an autopsy.
Police Commissioner Elton Lewis said the officer had returned to duty with Special Operations following the May 14 incident. He offered a brief comment upon receiving word of Marrishow's death.
"Since it just happened, we are still trying to gather information. My heartfelt sympathies to his family. The police department is prepared to do anything we can do to comfort them and get them through this time," the commissioner said.
Sgt. Karen Williams, spokeswoman for the National Guard, confirmed the dead officer was one of the guardsmen on board the KC-135 but declined further comment.
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