Gilani Taylor, Aspiring L.A. Singer, Loses Daughter, Burns 80% of Body in Fiery Crash on 101 Freeway; Hit-and-Run Driver Sought
Traffic was backed up for hours on Saturday along the 101 near Calabasas, behind an almost unrecognizable 1995 Chrysler engulfed in flames. The victims inside were 9-year-old Jayla Taylor, who died in the fire; and her mom, 27-year-old Gilani Taylor, who's in critical condition with 80 percent of her body burned.
Now we know what may have caused the devastation: California Highway Patrol officials tell ABC7 that a "new witness came forward Monday, saying a white SUV swerved and possibly caused the collision."
Gilani was just embarking on a solo singing career:
Initial reports from the scene of the crash described the 27-year-old as crawling from the wreckage, her body fully aflame. "She's rolling in pain, on fire, and her skin is falling off,'' one witness said. "I was shocked at first. I thought it was a horror movie.'"
But standersby turned Good Samaritans were quick to act, rushing to her side and putting out the flames. She was rushed to County-USC Medical Center, where she still remains in critical condition, though she is expected to survive.
Her public Facebook page reads:
"Faced with the sudden dissolution of her singing group, Gilani found herself at a crossroads: pick up the pieces and try again or go at it alone. The Belizean/American singer opted for the latter and took matters into her own hands. The result: her debut album aptly titled "Take A Picture". Recorded in just four days, the 11 song LP is comprised of a mixture of pop, rock and R&B tracks coupled with lyrics co-written by the artist. The title track encompasses Gilani's current outlook on her music perfectly: after years of waiting for her opportunity, this Southern California native is ready to showcase her singing and dancing abilities to the fullest, no holding back- inviting all the skeptics to "take a picture" while she does it."
Gilani's husband, Rodney Taylor, has been equally supportive in the accident's aftermath.
"I just want my wife," he told reporters outside the hospital last night. "I will go through everything to get her back. ... She's going to come through this, you are going to see a miracle."
Their young daughter never made it out of the car.
"Gilani will be performing live at "Tha Takeover" hosted by Ladies of the 805, Ladies free before 10pm, don't miss Gilani performing her single, "For You" live along with music from her upcoming album, "Take A Picture"!"
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.