Police Say Nobel Prize Winner, Wife Were Not Wearing Seatbelts in N.J. Fatal Taxi Crash
New Jersey State Police over the Memorial Day weekend released their preliminary findings in connection with the May 23 crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that claimed the lives of famed mathematician John F. Nash Jr. and his wife. While the deadly crash of the taxi that Nash and his wife were riding is still under investigation, the police say that the couple were not wearing their seatbelts when they were thrown from the back seat of the taxi.
Nash, who shared a Nobel Prize in 1994 for his work on economic theory and whose lengthy bout with and recovery from mental illness was the subject of the book and film titled “A Beautiful Mind,” was 86 when he died. He and his wife, Alicia, 82, were in a taxi in Monroe Township around 4:30 p.m. when the driver lost control and then hit a guardrail and another car before the couple were ejected from the vehicle and then pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.
The taxi driver and the driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash were treated for injuries. As of the day after the accident, no criminal charges had been filed.
“Despite the fact that the police have stated that they do not believe the Nashes were wearing seatbelts, it remains to be seen what the official investigation will find caused the accident itself,” said Steven Petrillo, a prominent attorney in Pennsauken, N.J., whose law firm specializes in personal injury law. “However, it is worth noting that common carriers such as taxi companies are held to a higher standard of care toward their passengers.”
Passengers in taxis commonly eschew using their seatbelts — a New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission survey in 2014 of riders found that 62 percent of respondents said they did not wear them. In New Jersey, though, passengers are required by law to wear seatbelts. The crash that took the lives of the Nashes occurred during the opening salvo of the State Police’s annual campaign to enforce safe driving.
The Nashes were returning home from the airport after a trip to Norway — where the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters had honored Nash and New York University mathematician Louis Nirenberg with the Abel Prize — when the taxi they were riding crashed.
“Certainly safety measures such as wearing seatbelts should be encouraged as they are in New Jersey, and the manner in which the Nashes lost their lives is tragic,” Petrillo said. “Regardless of the circumstances, though, it always behooves anyone who has been injured or worse while a passenger aboard a common carrier vehicle to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to protect their rights and seek the compensation they deserve.”Learn more at http://www.petrilloandgoldberg.com/ Petrillo & Goldberg Law 6951 North Park Drive Pennsauken, NJ 08109 1333 Race Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 70 South Broad Street Woodbury, NJ 08096 Phone: 856-486-4343 Fax: 856:486-7979