Stephen Hawking Cambridge

Lwp Kommunikáció/Flickr, Sarah Parcak/Twitter (CC-BY)

The best Stephen Hawking tributes are from the people who almost killed him

Hawking was apparently a force on the road.


Tiffany Kelly

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 14, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 9:49 pm CDT

Early on Wednesday, the world found out that famed physicist Stephen Hawking died at the age of 76. Hawking was an inspiration to many people, especially those in science and math fields, and his loss was felt across the internet. On Twitter, many people shared their personal stories of interacting with the physicist—which included several near-misses. Hawking reportedly almost caused several accidents near his home in Cambridge, England.

Sarah Parcak, a professor and Egyptologist, was the first to tweet her story. “I nearly killed him, and he me, 15 years ago, when his wheelchair shot out between two parked cars at Cambridge, and I was on my bike. I swerved at the last moment. 100% his fault. God bless you and RIP,” she wrote.

She followed up with more detail, adding that she was biking carefully:

Several people replied to Parcak’s tweet with their own stories of nearly crashing into Hawking:

This story doesn’t even involve vehicles: one person almost ran into Hawking and had to actually leap over him.

Other people on Twitter saw these stories as a fitting tribute to Hawking, who had a great sense of humor.

Hawking was also known to run over the toes of people he didn’t like with his wheelchair.

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*First Published: Mar 14, 2018, 1:57 pm CDT