John F. Kennedy Junior rode in my Taxi

The more I think about it and the more I see his picture, the more I am convinced that I really did carry JFK Junior in my taxi, at least once and possibly twice.

The tip-off is that he lived on North Moore Street, which is a small street of two blocks where not many people live. Had I known that JFK Jr. lived on North Moore Street while he was a passenger in my taxi, I would have realized right away who he was. However, his address was not published until after his death. In addition, JFK Jr. was shorter and looked much less glamorous in real life than he looked in his pictures.
John F. Kennedy Junior

Both trips in my taxi were late at night, after dark. The first time I picked him up in lower Midtown or in the North Village. I took him down Greenwich Street, turned left on Spring, right on Renwick Street, right on Canal, left on Greenwich (this being a fancy shortcut I often take to cross Canal) and then drove down Greenwich Street.

I did not see the sign for North Moore Street and did not know where it was. Suddenly, my passenger said "There it is" and told me to stop. I stopped and he got out of my taxi.

This happened about one year ago.

The next time was more recent. This time, I knew where North Moore Street was. I went down Seventh Avenue which turns into Varick and then turned right on North Moore Street, which runs one-way East to West, delivering him to his front door. While driving him, I talked about my web site, as I often do. My passenger asked me what web development package I use. I replied that I do not use any package and instead write my own HTML code. (Something which apparently almost nobody else does.) He seemed interested in what I had to say.

Although much sympathy has been extended to the family of Carolyn Bessette, who, as a passenger in the airplane, was apparently the innocent victim of the crash, news reports have indicated that it was to some extent her fault that the crash occurred. They were going to a marriage party of a relative of JFK Jr. JFK Jr. wanted his wife to come, but she insisted that if she was to come, her sister must come as well. JFK Jr. and his wife arrived at the airport on time but the sister, Lauren Bessette, was late. Rather than leave without her, they waited. When she finally arrived, it was already starting to get dark. No doubt Carolyn and her sister did not realize the danger this created and that flying at night over the ocean with no city lights to guide them created a dangerous situation. No doubt, JFK Jr. should in hindsight have called off the trip and scheduled it for another day or should have changed plans and taken a land route instead of flying over the ocean. However, it is understandable that he did not want to change plans which had been made so far in advance. So, he stuck to the plan, became disoriented over the ocean and, not being able to see because it was night, flew in the wrong direction out into the open ocean, ran out of fuel and crashed.

The pilot must bear ultimate responsibility in such as situation, but the fact remains that had Lauren Bessette reached the airport on time or had Carolyn not insisted on bringing along her sister, the crash would not have occurred.

Sam Sloan

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UPDATE: Name: Gerry Price
Hometown: Franklin, MA
Sent: 5:00 PM - 10/6/2000
Before printing this did you even bother to read the NTSB investigation of the crash? If you had you would have learned that John did not run out of fuel OR get lost as you assert. He became disoriented and flew the plane into the water. I'm also a private pilot and fly to Nantucket and the Vineyard. Regrettably, John had at his disposal enough training and the onboard equipment to have prevented his accident. Although not an instrument rated pilot he had enough instruction and had been tested in flight by the FAA to ensure that he could recognize and recover from 'unusual flight attitudes' while under instrument conditions. His aircraft had an autopilot which would have allowed him to stabilize the aircraft, catch his breath and afford him the opportunity to contact air traffic control for guidance to the airport. Sadly, he made an error in judgment and three people lost their lives. Do your research before making reckless assertions. It's irresponsible to do otherwise.

- GP

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