SOUTH OGDEN — As his 11-year-old grandson, Gabriel Larsen, recovers in a New York City hospital from serious injuries suffered in an auto accident, Dewey Nicholson is finding strength by reaching out to others affected by the same June 2 crash that killed his wife, Suzi.
“They’re suffering, too,” Nicholson said of the garbage truck driver who survived the accident, as well as the family of the taxi cab driver who was killed.
On Thursday, Nicholson had just finished writing a card to mail to the family of the cab driver when contacted at home by the Standard-Examiner.
Nicholson said he is trying to take the focus off the death of his wife, who is now “where we all want to be,” and reach out to those others the way people have reached out to his family.
Suzi Nicholson and grandson Gabe had traveled to New York City last Friday to take in the sights when the cab they were riding in was involved in a multicar wreck on the Long Island Expressway around 12:30 a.m. Saturday.
Police said the cab driver lost control during a downpour and rear-ended a gray Porsche, causing the cab to flip toward the right shoulder before landing on the driver’s side of the vehicle.
The garbage truck was unable to stop and hit the back of the cab, spinning it to face oncoming traffic, police said.
Suzi, 60, was killed, as was 46-year-old cab driver Mohamed Hussain. Gabe, of Uintah, was critically injured.
His grandson is now in stable condition, Nicholson said. “He is going to be fine.”
He said he appreciates everyone’s prayers.
Funeral arrangements for Suzi are pending until Gabe can return home, he said.
Nicholson said he is also grateful to New York City emergency personnel who have been visiting the boy at the hospital.
Those who know Dewey Nicholson are not surprised by the strength he is demonstrating during this ordeal.
“(Dewey) is an amazing man,” said South Ogden neighbor Dan Litchford.
In addition to reaching out to the driver of the garbage truck, indicating to him that he needed to get on with his life, and contacting the family of the cab driver who was killed in the accident, Litchford said, Nicholson has faithfully responded to those who have sent messages on Facebook.
Litchford said that on the Sunday following the accident, Nicholson attended sacrament meeting at his ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
There, members of the church who live around Nicholson expressed their condolences and gratitude to him, Litchford said.
“It was a phenomenal thing,” he said.
Litchford said Nicholson had indicated he was hesitant to attend the church meeting because he didn’t want to make it difficult for anybody.
“But he was glad he did. Many of the young women Suzi worked with (in the ward) were able to express themselves. It was a pretty powerful experience for everybody that was there,” Litchford said.
“He has taught us a lot with how he has dealt with this horrible thing. A real special man.”
And until grandson Gabe returns home, Litchford said, the surrounding community will collectively hold its breath.