SOUTH OGDEN -- Gabe Larsen is safely home in Utah and continues to recover from serious injuries he suffered in a New York City taxicab crash that killed his 60-year-old grandmother Suzi Nicholson, of South Ogden.
The two went to New York City to take in the sights, including a New York Yankees baseball game, but their weeklong visit was cut tragically short June 2, when the cab they were riding in was involved in a three-vehicle accident on the Long Island Expressway.
But before 11-year-old Gabe came home after his release from a New York City-area hospital, New Yorkers gave him a Yankee-Doodle send-off, treating him and his family to a New York Yankees game on Sunday.
"It was an amazing experience. It was quite a day for (Gabe)," said grandfather Dewey Nicholson, of South Ogden.
Not only did the Yankees provide the Larsen family with transportation and front-row seats to the game, they invited them to visit the players in the locker room, Nicholson said.
"He got to meet the players," Nicholson said of the day's events.
In the locker room, the players presented Gabe with an autographed baseball and a Yankees jersey bearing his name, Nicholson said.
And now Nicholson is just glad to have his oldest grandson home, as they prepare for his wife's funeral services on Friday.
The neighbors are also excited to have Gabe Larsen home.
"What a blessing. What a marvelous thing to be home with his family and friends. Home, for an 11 year-old boy, is important," said family friend Robb Alexander.
Alexander said he is impressed with the treatment the Yankees organization provided the Utah family. Because of it, he said, he, too, is now a Yankees' fan.
"Reggie Jackson gave Gabe his cellphone number," Alexander said of the lengths to which the world famous baseball organization went in embracing the family.
"This story gets out, there will be a lot more Yankee fans," he said.
Nicholson said he is not surprised at New Yorkers' willingness to reach out to his family.
"I guess after 9/11, it doesn't surprise me," he said, remembering how he looked on then as New Yorkers rallied around one another in getting through the terrorist attacks.
This time around, Nicholson said, those same people touched him personally by rallying around his family.
In addition to the Yankees experience, emergency personnel who responded to the accident that also took the life of the taxicab driver, visited Gabe in the hospital.
In the accident, Gabe suffered numerous broken bones and had to be extricated from the vehicle.
Some emergency personnel described it as a miracle that Gabe had survived the crash. In pulling the victims from the cab, emergency personnel found Suzi lying over the top of him in an effort to protect him.
Gabe is the son of Dean and Jaime Larsen, of Uintah.