John Nash Wasn't Supposed to Be in Cab That Crashed

The couple's travel arrangements had changed
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2015 7:12 AM CDT
John Nash Wasn't Supposed to Be in Cab That Crashed
In this Oct. 11, 1994, file photo, Princeton University professor John Nash speaks during a news conference at the school after being named the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for economics.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Renowned mathematician John Nash and his wife, Alicia, weren't supposed to be in the cab that crashed into a guardrail on the NJ Turnpike on Saturday, killing the couple, according to the New York Post: Their flight from Norway to Newark Airport got in five hours ahead of schedule, at 2pm rather than 7pm, so the car service they had scheduled wasn't there to pick them up. "I said [to the Nashes], 'You could take a taxi'—which now I feel sick about," says the daughter of Nash's colleague Louis Nirenberg, who had been in Norway with the couple. She explains Nash borrowed her phone to check on the car service when she arrived to pick up her father. The Nashes ultimately opted for the taxi, one driven by a cabbie who had been on the job for two weeks, his son tells the Post. Tarek Girgis' previous gig: driving an ice cream truck. The younger Girgis adds that his father has "many stitches" in both arms from the crash.

Meanwhile, a family friend tells the Post that Alicia Nash had been concerned about what would happen to the couple's 56-year-old son, John "Johnny" Charles Nash, when she and her husband died; the younger John Nash has schizophrenia like his father, the paper notes. "There was always a premonition … that Alicia had," Debra Wentz tells the Post. "They were worried about the well-being of their son" because they were getting older and knew "they wouldn't be around forever." Wentz adds, per the New York Daily News, that Johnny Nash is "in deep grief, he's in great distress. … It is a shock, but he's dealing with it well." John Stier, Nash's older son by his first marriage, told People yesterday, "My father was a very special and unique person in my life. He will be missed very, very much." (More on the crash here.)

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