On Saturday, October 1, aspiring singer Gilani Taylor drove east along the 101 Freeway . at the Malibu Canyon-Las Virgenes Road overpass with her 9-year-old daughter Jayla.
The 27-year-old woman is a California native with Belizean roots, pursuing the American dream. She’d recently recorded an album and was in the process of raising money, finding backup singers and spreading the word about her music, a mix of R&B, soul and rock.
As Gilani and Jayla approached the Las Virgenes overpass in Calabasas, disaster struck. Gilani’s car to lost control, and within seconds the freeway looked liked the aftermath of a battle.
Their car, a 1995 Chrysler sedan, hit the center divider before spinning back into speeding traffic. It smashed into a tanker carrying liquid nitrogen, flipped onto its roof and slid another 20 feet before catching fire. No other cars were hit, but the car quickly became engulfed in flames.
Both were wearing seat belts and Gilani was able to crawl out of the car, but there was no hope for her daughter.
Westlake Pastor Dale Johnsen described what happened next, as reported by KTLA. “She crawled out of the window and starts crawling on her elbows from the car,” Johnsen said.
“Then these guys who are out there grab her under the arms, pull her from the second to fourth lane. That’s when they try to put out the fire. These guys [are] taking off their shirts to try to get the fire out.”
“She’s rolling in pain, on fire …. I was shocked at first, I thought it was a horror movie.”
Authorities pronounced Jayla Taylor dead at the scene, and Gilani was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center before being transferred to the burn unit at USC Medical center, where she is listed in critical condition with burns over 90 percent of her body. (Calabasas360.com)
Here’s a video of the scene from ABC News.
You Tube Video of Gilani "I Know"