Beautiful Mind mathematician John Nash only called novice cab driver for fatal taxi ride when they arrived at airport too early for limo
- Mathematician John Nash, 86, has been killed in a taxi crash on the New Jersey Turnpike along with his wife Alicia, 82
- The pair were not wearing seltbelts and were ejected from the vehicle when their driver allegedly lost control and hit the guard rail
- Police have said that they don't expect the driver of the taxi to be charged - he survived with non-life threatening injuries
- Nash was widely regarded as one of the great mathematicians of the 20th century
- The Nobel Prize winner was famously portrayed by Russell Crowe in the 2001 Hollywood movie A Beautiful Mind which won four Oscars
The man driving the taxi that crashed on Saturday killing John Nash and his wife Alicia on the New Jersey Turnpike was just two weeks into his new job as a taxi driver, it was revealed Monday.
What's more, the 'A Beautiful Mind' inspiration and his wife had been scheduled to take a limousine ride home on Saturday but arrived hours early to Newark airport and chose to hail a yellow cab, reports the New York Post.
Driver Tarek Girgis, who officials said Sunday isn't expected to face charges, had been an ice cream truck driver just weeks before picking the the couple up.
'The car service said, 'We thought you were getting in five hours later.' They didn't really offer a solution,' recalled Lisa Macbride, the daughter of one of Nash's colleagues.
John Nash and wife Alicia Nash, pictured in 2012: The pair were killed in a taxi crash in New Jersey on Saturday
Crash scene: The incident happened on the New Jersey Turnpike on Saturday afternoon at 4.30 p.m.
'I said, 'You could take a taxi' — which now I feel sick about.'
Middlesex County Prosecutor spokesman Jim O'Neill has said no charges in expected to be filed against Girgis.
Girgis' son told the Post that driving a cab was still new to his father when tragedy struck.
'He started a new company,' revealed 19-year-old Kerolos Girgis. 'I drive the ice-cream truck now.'
He was sent to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries along with a passenger in another vehicle who was transported by ground to Princeton University Hospital complaining of neck pain. Neither Nash nor his wife was wearing a seatbelt.
Russell Crowe was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Nash in the 2001 movie A Beautiful Mind, which won four Oscars including Best Picture
According to New Jersey State Police, Nash - the 86-year-old mathematical genius whose struggle with schizophrenia was chronicled in the 2001 movie A Beautiful Mind - and his wife Alicia, 82, of Princeton Township, were both ejected from the cab in the crash around 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Monroe Township, about 15 miles northeast of Trenton.
Russell Crowe, who portrayed Nash in A Beautiful Mind, tweeted that he was 'stunned.'
'An amazing partnership,' he wrote. 'Beautiful minds, beautiful hearts.'
'This is a great loss,' actress Jennifer Connelly, who played Alicia Nash in the film, said. 'John and Alicia Nash were an inspiration and I have deep admiration for all that they accomplished in their lives.'
Ron Howard, who directed the film, said on Sunday that 'it was an honor telling part of their story.'
Known as brilliant and eccentric, Nash was associated with Princeton University for many years, most recently serving as a senior research mathematician.
He won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1994 for his work in game theory, which offered insight into the dynamics of human rivalry. It is considered one of the most influential ideas of the 20th century.
Nash is known for his work on game theory and his struggle with paranoid schizophrenia, both depicted in the 2001 Hollywood movie in which he was played by Russell Crowe
HOW JOHN NASH HELPED TO TRANSFORM MATHEMATICS
Widely regarded as one of the great mathematicians of the 20th century, Nash is best known for his work on game theory - the mathematics of decision-making - which won him the Nobel economics prize in 1994.
It is considered one of the most influential ideas of the 20th century.
Dr. Nash's theory of noncooperative games, published in 1950 and known as Nash equilibrium, provided a conceptually simple but powerful mathematical tool for analyzing a wide range of competitive situations, from corporate rivalries to legislative decision making.
His theories are used in economics, computing, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, accounting, politics and military theory.
Dr. Nash also made contributions to pure mathematics that many mathematicians view as more significant than his Nobel-winning work on game theory, including solving an intractable problem in differential geometry derived from the work of the 19th century mathematician G.F.B. Riemann.
His achievements were the more remarkable, colleagues said, for being contained in a small handful of papers published before he was 30.
Just a few days ago, Nash had received a prize from the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters in Oslo with New York University mathematician Louis Nirenberg, who said he'd chatted with the couple for an hour at the airport in Newark before they'd gotten a cab.
Nirenberg said Nash was a truly great mathematician and 'a kind of genius.'
Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber said the Nashes were special members of the university community.
'John's remarkable achievements inspired generations of mathematicians, economists and scientists who were influenced by his brilliant, groundbreaking work in game theory, and the story of his life with Alicia moved millions of readers and moviegoers who marveled at their courage in the face of daunting challenges,' Eisgruber said in a statement.
News of the deaths was shocking to Nirenberg.
'We were all so happy together,' Nirenberg said. 'It seemed like a dream.'
Nash, a West Virginia Native, won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1994, the year before he joined the Princeton mathematics department as a senior research mathematician.
He is best known for his work on game theory and his struggle with paranoid schizophrenia, both depicted in the 2001 Hollywood movie in which he was played by Russell Crowe and his wife by Jennifer Connelly.
The couple had been married for nearly 60 years. They met in 1951 when he joined the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and she, then Alicia Larde, was a student in his advanced calculus class.
She later became his caretaker while he battled his mental illness.
Russell Crowe tweed on Sunday that he was 'stunned' to learn of the couple's death and he described their marriage as an 'amazing partnership'
In the 2001 movie Nash was played by Russell Crowe, while his wife was played by Jennifer Connelly
The couple also became mental health care advocates when their son John was also diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Nash is considered a giant in mathematics, particularly in the field of partial differential equations, but won the Nobel Prize in economics for a paper he wrote on game theory, the mathematics of decision-making.
In addition to the Nobel, Nash has won the John von Neumann Theory Prize (1978) and the American Mathematical Society's Steele Prize for a Seminal Contribution to Research (1999).
John David Stier, Nash's son with his first wife, said he learned of the death on Sunday morning. 'It's very upsetting,' he said.
In an autobiography written for The Nobel Foundation website, Nash said delusions caused him to resign as a faculty member at M.I.T. He also spent several months in New Jersey hospitals on an involuntary basis.
John and Alicia Nash had been married for nearly 60 years and she had been his caretaker while he battled his mental illness
However, Nash's schizophrenia diminished through the 1970s and 1980s as he 'gradually began to intellectually reject some of the delusionally influenced lines of thinking,' he wrote.
The 2001 film A Beautiful Mind won four Oscars, including best picture and best director, and generated interest in John Nash's life story.
The movie was based on an unauthorized biography by Sylvia Nasar, who wrote that Nash's contemporaries found him 'immensely strange' and 'slightly cold, a bit superior, somewhat secretive.'
Much of his demeanor likely stemmed from mental illness, which began emerging in 1959 when Alicia was pregnant with a son.
The film, though, did not mention Nash older son or to the years that he and Alicia spent living together after divorcing.
Nash and his wife were not wearing seatbelts and were ejected from the vehicle, according to police
The couple split in 1963, then resumed living together several years later and finally remarried in 2001.
Born in Bluefield, West Virginia, to an electrical engineer and a housewife, Nash had read the classic Men of Mathematics by E.T. Bell by the time he was in high school.
He planned to follow in his father's footsteps and studied for three years at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh (now Carnegie Mellon University), but instead developed a passion for mathematics.
He then went to Princeton, where he worked on his equilibrium theory and, in 1950, received his doctorate with a dissertation on non-cooperative games.
The thesis contained the definition and properties of what would later be called the Nash equilibrium.
Nash then taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for several years and held a research post at Brandeis University before eventually returning to Princeton.
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