John Forbes Nash Jr., the Princeton mathematician who inspired the Oscar-winning movie A Beautiful Mind and his wife Alicia were killed in a crash on the New Jersey Turnpike this past Saturday.
According to NJ.com, police indicated that the two were in a taxi traveling southbound in the left lane of the turnpike when their driver lost control while trying to pass another car in the center lane. The two vehicles crashed into a guard rail near Interchange 8A in Monroe Township.
According to State Police Sargent Gregory Williams, the couple did not seem to be wearing seat belts and were subsequently ejected from the taxi upon collision.
The crash was reported at 4:30 p.m. and the couple were both pronounced dead on the scene. The taxi driver was flown to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and the passenger of the other vehicle involved in the incident was treated for neck pain.
No charges have been filed in the accident which is presently under investigation.
John Nash was 86 and Alicia was 82, the couple had been traveling home to Princeton Junction from the Newark Airport. They had been in Norway where Nash and longtime college Louis Nirenberg had received the Able Prize for Mathematics.
According to a CNN report, Nash is regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century. He is known for his work on game theory as well as his personal struggle with paranoid schizophrenia.
He met Alicia Nash, a physics major, while teaching at MIT. Alicia is credited with saving his life after schizophrenia derailed his career in the 1960s. The Nash’s lives during this period were the subject of the 2001 Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind— starring Russel Crowe and Jennifer Connelly.
Nash struggled with schizophrenia all his life, however, during periods of mental clarity, he was able to not only research, but teach.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize for economics back in 1994 for game theory and the mathematics of decision-making.
In the latter years of their lives, John and Alicia were major advocates for mental health care in the state of New Jersey. Their son John, who lives with them, was also diagnosed with schizophrenia.