Hundreds gather to remember Marcia Donaldson
They gathered at the Hurley’s roundabout before dawn, a sea of hundreds of white T-shirts, to walk the route where, one week earlier, a Prospect woman was killed during her regular morning walk.
The entire group, of more than 400, stopped in silence at the spot where Marcia Donaldson was struck by a suspected drunk driver just before 5 a.m. Saturday, April 25.
The family and close friends came to the front; she left a husband, two daughters, a granddaughter and many friends. A cross made of blue flowers marked the spot where she was hit. Some walkers cried, some stood stoic. After the family paid their respects, the hundreds behind them stopped one by one and two by two to lay flowers where the 46-year-old became the seventh road casualty in Cayman this year.
Saturday’s show of support was also a show of force. Ms. Donaldson’s loved ones have decided that she should not be just another fatality statistic and they do not want her death to be in vain.
They plan to create a nonprofit foundation in her name to push for safer roads and help fund the work of easy fixes to make the roads safer – reflective lane markings, clearing shoulders so walkers and joggers don’t have to be in the street, preventing drunk driving and advocating for safer driving.
Each walker was asked to bring a single flower of their choosing, which were piled around the cross. Police and emergency workers, who were as surprised by the large turnout as the organizers were, closed the road on either side of the walk. The participants walked to Red Bay Dock and back to the roundabout, following Ms. Donaldson’s usual morning walk.
Errington Webster, a friend of Ms. Donaldson who helped organize the walk, said Cayman’s roads are getting more dangerous. “If we don’t check it, it will keep getting worse,” he said.
To put it another way, he used an old seafarer’s metaphor: “You have to change the rope before it breaks.”
Mr. Webster, along with his wife Millicent who described Ms. Donaldson as her best friend for 20 years, and other friends, family and supporters, plan to create the new foundation.
Walking along South Sound Road as the sun rose Saturday morning, Mr. Webster pointed to dark areas, places where joggers and walkers have to step into the street to get around untended brush, that make the road more dangerous.
“There’s a lot that can be done to make these roads safer,” he said. Government can only do so much, he noted, and the idea behind the foundation is to partner with the National Roads Authority and pick up where government leaves off.
The sun had risen by the time the last of the hundreds returned to the roundabout. Organizers collected contact information for people to get involved in the foundation. Ms. Webster hopes the walk can become an annual or biannual event to remember Ms. Donaldson and push for safer roads in Cayman.
Services for Marcia Donaldson will be held Saturday, May 9 at 3 p.m. at the Calvary Baptist Church on Walkers Road.
Friends from the Orchid Society hosted a private orchid sale Sunday afternoon to raise money to be donated in Ms. Donaldson’s name. The family has not yet decided on which charity or foundation those funds will be donated to.