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"I was doing the Sigourny Weaver bit."

Part Three:
A Horrific Choice is Made
Port-Au-Prince, Haiti
A ZWN exclusive interview with Zandra Corbes by Kim Harwell
Posted: December, 2006 Bookmark and Share

Part one
Part two

Part three:
This interview was conducted at the bedside of Zandra Corbes, at the converted military hospital aboard the QE2 docked in Port-au-Prince today.

ZC: We managed to cruise on the flat tire for a mile or so. But the road was rough, and it soon stripped the rubber completely. The bandit was laughing. I screamed at him to shut up. I was in terrible pain from the bullet wound to my thigh. What made it worse was that the truck was a stick shift. So I was in searing pain whenever I changed gear, pressing the clutch with my leg. I tried to keep it in fourth as much as I could.

We saw an old car, crashed against a rock. I pulled over. Pt. Goodson told me to stay in the truck. He cautiously approached. We needed to see what was salvageable I watched through the dusty, bug splattered windshield. Then he smiled and gave an AO Kay signal. This was good. It wasn't a perfect tire fit. But who cares if your crossing radials with ply when your slowly bleeding to death?. I pulled up parallel to the car. Pt. Goodson shouted to me that he would try to find a jack. He released the trunk catch and hobbled over to open it. He leaned on the trunk. Trying to master the pain of his broken ankle. I saw through the dust on the windshield, Pt. Goodson open the trunk and reel back. An undead was lurched out at him.

ZWN: In the trunk? That's horrific. It sounds like a 'gotcha' scene from a Romero movie. What was an undead doing in there?
ZC: Who knows. We never quite figured that one out. Perhaps he was a relative being taken to hospital? And he had become uncontrollable. But if so, why did they abandon him there?. We just don't know.

Anyway, they both fell back into a cloud of dirt.

ZWN: What did you do?
ZC: Well, here's the embarrassing part. I had been feeling really good about how I had handled the whole situation since the copter crash. I mean here I was with two highly trained chopper pilots, and it was me who was doing the Sigourny Weaver bit. (laughs) Anyway, the question was "what did I do'". I just sat there screaming and crying. I was hysterical.

ZWN: Well, that is understandable
ZC: I know. I know. But all the same. I should have done something. I had a side arm.

ZWN: So what did happen?
ZC: Lt. Mavern. sprung to action. He leapt from the truck like he had never been injured. He grabbed the zombie by the hair and pulled it off Pt. Goodson. Then, whirled it away from him in a sort of wrestling move. You know the one where they grab their opponents hand and spin them around, then let go?

He landed with a thud against the truck bed. This is when our bandit friend leaned over the side and got it in a choke hold. He held it long enough for Pt. Goodson to put a gun to it's head and shoot it.

ZWN: So the bandit ended up being a stand up guy?
ZC: Wouldn't that be a nice ending? No, unfortunately not. Because Pt. Goodson's gun was no more than a few inches from his face, Bandit guy lunged for it. So a whole new fight started. He knew Pt. Goodson had a broken ankle and went for it. Leaping from the truck, he kicked Pt. Goodson square on the shin. Again and again. Then started punching him in the face. But three against one won out. We subdued him with several well placed blows. We had nothing to tie him up with though. So I watched over him whilst they tried to fix the flat.

After two or three minutes of trying to change it. I noticed a rustling in the tall grass by the side of the road. I told them to hurry. Then the rustling became something else. Something clearer. It was footsteps. Lots of them. Surely enough, the sound of the gun shot had attracted the attention of every zombie for miles around. They started to stream out of the grass, the bushes, everywhere.

We got the flat fixed to a fashion. But at this point they were all around the truck. Including in front. I floored it. Knocking one clean over the hood. He smashed the windshield but rolled completely over the top. I thought we were clear. But then I glanced in the rear view mirror. To my horror the zombie I had just flipped over the roof was now in the back bed with Lt. Mavern and the bandit. I tried swerving but it just kept everyone rolling around in the back. The zombie was holding onto the Bandit guy. I pulled the wheel down hard to the left and that's when it happened.

ZWN: What?
ZC: The zombie and the bandit. They flipped over the side. They rolled a good deal and then came to a stop. The other zombies were stumbling towards him. He was shouting to us. Screaming for us to stop.

ZWN" But you said "That's when it happened." what was 'It?"
ZC: Well, I stopped. We looked at each other as if to say, "what do we do now?, who's going back after him?" and we just all knew without saying anything that we were not going back.

So many things flashed before me. I thought of the moment I had a gun to his head earlier in the day. How I tried to shoot him and missed. How I felt that I was better for not having been his executioner. How I had felt I had come through something awful but somewhat untarnished. And now here we were. His fate in my hands once more. Only this time a different thought entered my head. It was a a joke I had heard once.

ZC: Yes. Not a funny one but a joke nonetheless. Two men are in the woods. Suddenly a bear starts to chase them. The first one says "we're done for here. How can we ever outrun a bear?" and the second man says "I don't have to. I just have to outrun you."..... get it? That's what ran through my head. It's not how fast we are. It's whether we were faster than that poor, poor man. That bandit who's name I never knew.

I could have tried to save him. But I chose to drive off. I watched in the rear view mirror. He stopped running after us. He just stopped. I guess he knew his fate at that moment. He was about to die. They descended on him and were immediately satisfied. they had their prey. Leaving us to drive away.

We were picked up by a search and rescue team two hours later.

ZWN: That's an incredible admission. Why did you choose to tell me this. You of all people. A reporter. You know I will have to print this.
ZC: I know. I know. But there is some part in me that has to confess. I went looking for a story and I got one. I have to tell the whole truth. Warts and all. This is what war does. It forces you to make decisions you would never make in the cold light of day. But when you are out there, and your adrenalin is running and you have to make split decisions, you cannot stop time and review it rationally. Instinct will always govern. This is the truth. this is war. And it's our duty to report it. Otherwise what are we doing here as reporters?

Zandra Corbes, Lt. Mavern and Pt. Goodson are all recovering in the converted QE2 military hospital ship.

Part one of this exclusive interview with ZWN embedded reporter Zandra Corbes

Part two of this exclusive interview with ZWN embedded reporter Zandra Corbes

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Read a ZWN embedded reporters own account of being lost and having to survive the undead hordes and roaming bandits in Haiti.

Part one
Part two
Part three