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Muslim Taxi Family Reaches Out to Mormon Victims in Fatal Crash

5 June 2012 General 12 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

 

 

 

 

By MARY MURPHYpix11.com | @murphypix

QUEENS, NY (PIX11)— The grieving family of a New York City cab driver who was killed in a rainy night accident on the Long Island Expressway reached out to the Utah relatives of the grandmother who died in the same crash, trying to shield her 11 year old grandson in the back, passenger seat.

“Such a wonderful human being that she sacrificed her life to save her grandchild,” said the cab driver’s cousin, Mohammed Hussain, about 60-year old Suzanne Nicholson.

The grandmother’s husband, Dewayne Nicholson, spoke to PIX 11 by phone from their home in Ogden, Utah. “My wife was found lying over her grandson to protect him,” Nicholson said. “We’re not surprised at all. That’s who she was. ”

Suzanne Nicholson and her 11 year old grandson, Gabriel Larson, had just landed at John F. Kennedy Airport late Friday night, when they hopped into a cab driven by 46-year old Mohammed Hussain, a Bangladeshi-immigrant who’d been driving taxis for more than twenty years. Hussain’s cousin, who has the same name, said the father of two generally never drove on rainy nights, but he was trying to make up lost income–after attending a relative’s wedding in Boston.

As the cab neared the Maurice Avenue exit, while driving west on the Long Island Expressway in Queens, another car apparently cut off the taxi, trying to make the exit. That’s when Hussain slammed on his brakes, the taxi skidding, before it was hit hard by a garbage truck traveling behind the cab. It’s believed Suzanne Nicholson wrapped her body over her young grandson, trying to protect him from injury. Young Gabriel Larson was the only survivor of the taxi crash and had to be cut out of the mangled wreckage by rescue workers. When Larson woke up at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, his grieving parents didn’t have the heart to tell him that his beloved grandmother had died. The boy then started asking about going to a Yankees game.

One of Hussain’s female cousins, Shirrin Rashed, tearfully spoke of the young survivor. “I really do want to hug that little boy,” said Rashed. “I can’t imagine the trauma he went through. But our brother’s not coming back either,” she cried.

The cab driver had two, young sons, 9 year old, Adil, and 13-month old, Aahil.

Adil Hussain spoke to PIX 11, after returning from the burial of his father on Long Island. He shyly gave a message to the 11-year old survivor who lost his grandmother in the crash. “I feel sad for him,” Adil Hussain said.

Following Muslim tradition, Adil’s mother, Rohima Hussain, was beginning a 40 day mourning period in herOzone Park bedroom. PIX 11 was allowed to go inside to meet her. She sobbed as she recalled that her husband of eleven years was a “good man” who’d never had an accident in his twenty years of driving a cab. She clutched a prayer book in her lap, while her husband’s aunt read from the Koran in the living room.

The Nicholson family of Utah are also deeply religious–devout Mormons who pray to Jesus Christ in times of crisis.

Dewayne Nicholson told PIX 11 he was concerned for the sanitation truck driver who smashed into the cab. Nicholson had read about the man on the web. “It really hit me hard what this man’s going through,” Nicholson said. “My prayers are with him. I hope he can get over this.”

Nicholson said he was deeply moved by reports of the rescue workers who are still visiting his grandson at Elmhurst Hospital, where Gabriel Larson’s mother and father are keeping a vigil by the boy’s side.

“Of course, we here in Utah witnessed powerfully how New York reacts to tragedy on 9/11,” Nicholson said, referring to the terrorism attacks more than a decade ago. “Now we’re seeing it again.”

Original post: Muslim Taxi Family Reaches Out to Mormon Victims in Fatal Crash

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12 Comments »

  1. Why does what religion they claimed matter? It is a purely human act.

  2. jane,

    i think they mean to show that muslims are tolerant of other religions. and showimg sympathy for the loss of life of a non-muslim means they don’t mean to kill all kuffar. not sure muslims know what mormons are. believing that joseph smith received divine revelation from gabriel, the book of mormon, makes them blasphemers in most islamic jurisprudance. of course the punishment for such an act is up for debate. but clearly mormons don’t believe muhammad to be god’s last prophet. they, mormons, deny “the truth” no doubt.

  3. All christians deny mohammed was a prophet too, so what?

    Good people do good things, it doesn’t need religion unless they only did it to paint islam in a good light which would be rather a sad reason. I hope that wasn’t the case.

  4. This is a true example of human kindness.

  5. it shows mans humanity toward man for a change, its very sad, poignant, and good that they are reaching out to each other to show kindness, much needed by all families involved at this time.

  6. There are a lot of good and caring people in the world. I just wish the national media would publish this.

  7. mike, i’m assuming you don’t muslims, or not that deeply. i’m an American Muslim, and i grew up around Mormons here in California. Mormons and Muslims find alot of commonality with each other — we are both minorities, maligned more or less by the majority, and the traditional practices of our religions are fairly conservative by secular standards. There’s also the prohibition of alcohol. As a Muslim, raised in America, I don’t go around quizzing everyone I meet on the theological underpinnings of their beliefs. I have been friends with Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, Catholics and Jews, yes Jews. And Mormons. The most intolerant people I have met in my experience are fundamentalist or born again Christians, the ones who profess no traditional historical denomination, but which have a very uniquely American twist on Christianity. I don’t mean to condemn all of American Christianity. It’s just been my experience. Mormons are usually very open to Muslims in my experience.

  8. Exactly! Why aren’t we seeing a story like this covered in national media? Its always doom and gloom .. Something like this even in a very sad situation is so refreshing to read

  9. :’)

  10. Thank God for safe!

  11. Very sad story from both ends. May God give peace in the heart of their loved ones!

  12. sophie,

    am i wrong to assume your first sentence should read
    “i’m assuming you don’t (know) muslims, or not that deeply.” tru dat. i have one friend of pakistani decent but he is not a practicing muslim.
    “our religions are fairly conservative by secular standards. There’s also the prohibition of alcohol.” no doubt. it sucks when i go skiing in salt lake, well actually i stay in sandy, and there are no clubs. and you have to go to the state liquior store to get a bottle of whiskey. so what do you think of joseph smith claiming divine revelation in the book of mormon?
    “As a Muslim, raised in America, I don’t go around quizzing everyone I meet on the theological underpinnings of their beliefs.” me neither, but we are on a website which is about religion. so can you indulge me, are you in favor of sharia?
    “I have been friends with Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, Catholics and Jews, yes Jews. And Mormons.” cool, this is a great country isn’t it?
    “The most intolerant people I have met in my experience are fundamentalist or born again Christians, the ones who profess no traditional historical denomination, but which have a very uniquely American twist on Christianity.” ok. i imagine ur right. i don’t care much for the christian right who mean to impose their “family values” on the rest of us.
    “I don’t mean to condemn all of American Christianity. It’s just been my experience.” ieght.
    “Mormons are usually very open to Muslims in my experience.” politics can make strange bedfollows. so u voting for romney?

    nice to hear from a fellow american.

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