Bride-to-be, Neriza Fojas, 31, and five friends die in limo fire en route to bachelorette festivities.
The wedding day is coming and you’re excited to party with your girls for the last time as a single woman.
The limo pulls up, you pile in with excitement and no one would believe that this would be the last party of your life.
A horrific blaze that started in the trunk of Neriza Fojas’ bachelorette limo, consumed her and her five friends lives on what was supposed to be a beautiful night of memories before she got married in June, according to CNN.
The 31-year-old bride-to-be and eight of her friends were traveling across the seven-mile San Mateo-Hayward bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area when the limo caught fire.
Singer Gilani Taylor suffered burns on over 95 % of her body from a hit & run auto accident on the Ventura Freeway in Southern California on October 1st.
*As doctors race to save the life of aspiring Belizean-American singer Gilani Taylor, funeral services are being planned for her 9-year-old daughter Jayla.
Gilani and Jayla were victims of an accident that occurred at approximately 8:30am on Saturday, October 1st, on the 101 freeway in the City of Calabasas (in Southern California). The public is being asked for help with information leading to the identification of the driver of the hit-and-run vehicle that may have caused the accident that took the little girls’ life and left her mother hospitalized with burns on over 95-percent of her body.
At first it was believed Taylor had lost control of her vehicle, slammed into a center divider, and clipped a fuel tanker before her car turned over multiple times along the freeway and ignited into flames. But California Highway Patrol officials later told ABC7 that a “new witness came forward Monday, saying a white SUV swerved and possibly caused the collision.” The white SUV, an “early 2000s” model, was last seen heading east on the 101 Freeway under the La Virgenes Road overpass.
Taylor and her daughter, Jayla, were said to be headed to a church function in Van Nuys. Upon seeing the accident good Samaritans were quick to respond; taking off their shirts while they rushed to the mother who, engulfed in flames, crawled from her burning 1995 Chrysler. The men grabbed her under the arms and dragged her from the second to fourth lanes where they successfully smothered the flames. “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.’”
Little Jayla never made it out of the burning car.
In working to reconstruct the damage to Gilani Taylor; USC Burn Center Director, Warren Garner, MD, told reporters, “When only 5-percent of you is undamaged, that’s a very small amount of normal skin to use to resurface [a] whole body.” But while doctor’s show little optimism about Gilani’s recovery, the Taylor family is holding on to their strong faith and the prayers of a loving public to bring her through. They feel a miracle will happen. That Gilani will walk away from this tragedy with the help of the only undamaged part of her body: her feet.
Husband Rodney Taylor told reporters outside of the USC Burn Center:
“I know where my daughter is. She’s blessed, she’s saved, she’s with God. She is safe. We’re trying to bring my wife back and I am asking for your prayers.”
The up and coming R&B singer had just independently released her single and video titled “I know” when the tragedy happened. Gilani is also mother to a 4-year old daughter. A host of family and friends desperately await her recovery.
The site, www.jaylataylor.com, has been set up to accept donations. With hospital bills that are sure to be astronomical, and burial costs for 9-year-old Jayla, the family will need a lot of support. You can also go to itunes and download Gilani Taylor’s single, “I know.”
All monies donated will go directly to the family.
Finally, a memorial service and press conference will be held Wednesday morning, October 12, at In His Presence Church located in Woodland Hills, CA at 10:30am in honor of 9-year-old, Jayla Taylor.
*The crimes that were committed by law enforcement during Hurricane Katrina are finally coming to light in court.
The chaotic tragedy left many thinking they would never see justice for their loved ones, but the time has come…at least for five officers connected to the shooting and burning death of one New Orleans resident.
According to the Huffington Post, Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann and Officer Gregory McRae tossed a flare in a car and burned the body of 31-year old Henry Glover to cover up the evidence of (more…)
*Once upon a time comedian Mark Curry was at the top of the ladder with his own sitcom, “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” on ABC. You couldn’t get much higher than that for a black comedian back in the 1990s.
Back when you were seeing Curry and Holly Robinson-Peete on a weekly basis it seemed like the sky was the limit. But, sometimes the sky is not the limit, in fact most of the time it’s not. What once seemed like a promising career had suffered some setbacks that are often times only whispered about by those in the know. Now, come tonight, Monday, August 23rd, you will be in the know, too as TV One’s “Life After” presents its episode on comedian Mark Curry.
“Why did I decide to do it? You know what? I don’t know,” Curry told our Lee Bailey when asked why he decided to be a subject for the show. “I like to do an interview every now and then. I would like to say to reveal it to my community every once in a while. TV One is great, I like TV One. So, I figured, if Ron Artest can do it I can do it. I love Ron Artest and I want people to see what I am doing. “
During our interview with Mark Curry it became quite obvious that the brother had been through the ringer in the 10 years or so that “Mr. Cooper” has been off the airwaves. But now he’s back on his grind and trying to get his mind right.
It’s just because people are always saying ‘What are you doing?’ and I am doing stand up right now. A lot of people don’t know that. After doing ‘Mr. Cooper’ I felt like my stand up wasn’t as (good) anymore. “
Though the mainstream media, as well as fans of Mark Curry, might feels as if “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper” was the pinnacle of his career, he tells EURweb.com that it may have been the beginning of his downward spiral.
“I started doing ‘Mr. Cooper’ and I felt like I changed into a totally different person,” he explained. “Money makes you less funny. I don’t know why, but I felt like I wasn’t funny anymore. Before ‘Mr. Cooper’ I was funny as heck, but then I started going ‘they don’t pay me enough money to do that. That’s not enough money. Blah, blah, blah.’ You start getting unfunny. I’m back on the road and I’m funny again … the little black clubs that I wouldn’t play, the big rich white clubs, any club that I can get my mic on. Now I’m funny, I feel funny and I am confident that I am funny. “
Curry’s ‘Mo’ Money, Less Funny’ equation is something often mused about among fans of comedy, but to hear one actually say it is a little bit of a trip. So, if we’re traveling aboard that train of thought, one wonders if Curry’s assertion that his return to funny mean he’s broke now? Is funny to a successful comedian similar to the Kingdom of God and a rich man? To Curry and those like him, funny is heaven and it’s worth the pain.
And speaking of pain, On “Life After,” the comedian talks about an incident where he was hospitalized after getting burned when he inadvertently knocked an aerosol can of spray starch off a shelf. The can hit a metal wall bracket that connected the water heater to a wall and ruptured, causing an explosion and a fire that engulfed him. He suffered second degree burns over 18% of his body.
“Yes I did get burned. But that’s not the focal point of the show. I won’t go into it much, but after that I had to change my life because I almost died. I was in a coma for 2 days. It was really, really bad. But it changed my life and comedy. It was almost like a revelation for me. I will be funny, I am going to change my comedy and I am not going to care anymore about what I say. Before I was always picky about what I said. I was more concerned with the audience. “
[Scroll down to watch Curry hilariously explain what happened.]
A comedian changing their comedy is as risky as a rapper changing his rhyme style. It’s a high risk, low reward type of thing. But Cooper tells EURweb.com that it was almost as if his peace of mind depended on it.
“I changed my life and my comedy. I’m a comic so my life revolves around being funny. If I am not funny then I am depressed,” he candidly admitted. “That’s why some times you see a comedian that doesn’t do so well and just kind of falls off. It emotionally affects you because that’s all we got. We’ve got a routine and if that routine is terrible then it’s like you’re walking in a desert with all the money that you want. Trust me, all these guys that used to be comedians, they can have 20 million in their pocket, but they all want to do standup. Trust me. They know if they’re funny or not. I don’t want to have it be ‘Life After’ being burned because my life is much more than that. “
Though Curry appeared to be speaking freely during the entire interview, it appears as though he tried to crawl into a bit of a shell when we asked him to expound on the incident.
“I don’t like talking about it because everybody keeps asking me the same question. I want to move on. I was depressed, and I wanted to kill myself,” he admitted. “It’s just that everybody wants to talk about it. I understand what you’re saying, but every article that’s all people want to talk about. I don’t want to talk about that and everything. Taking me back to that depressing place is hard for me. People look at you and think ‘Is he still burned?’ Remember, I got to go out and sell tickets.”
However, after some convincing from Lee, Curry continued.
“I was in the hospital and tubes were sticking out of everywhere. I asked them to bring me a pen and a yellow notepad. And I put on my answering machine ‘Hey, I’m burnt up! Fire! I’m about to choke from the smoke. My arm looks like Kentucky Fried Chicken.’ And that’s exactly what got me through all of this, the jokes.’ I felt into a deep depression but I think I’m out of it. Although I still fall back into it from time to time. “
It seems as if depression is an integral part of being a comedian. Without the pain the comedy is not as funny. If that’s so, if good comedy can only come from great pain, then these truly are tears of a clown. Everyone needs someone to talk to every once in a while, but a long standing taboo exists among African Americans, males in particular.
“It’s hard being Mr. Cooper, but I didn’t get no help for (the depression), and you know black people don’t like to get help; I dealt with it on my own. I tried to kill myself and I don’t really know what happened. I wasn’t really burned up that bad. It was fairly recent. It happened maybe out 2 or 3 years ago. I didn’t get help. I didn’t go do it, not at all. I didn’t know how to do it and I didn’t really seek that. I don’t trust Los Angeles at all for business. These people are fake. It’s hard being popular. I don’t trust everybody. So, I dealt with it ghetto style, on my own. I’m OK, I think. It took me through an emotional situation that was so powerful that it taught me how to deal with my emotions. “
Though Curry has stated that he doesn’t trust Hollywood types, he does trust others in the fraternity of black comedy that he will forever be a member of. One of them was a big help in him coming through the storm clouds of depression.
“You know who really helped me? George Wallace the comedian,” said Curry. All could think about was how I was going to get out of this. George Wallace sent me a book. And I’m thinking ‘What the hell am I gonna do with a book? I don’t want no damn book.’ It was a Joel Osteen book. The words were so encouraging and I read the book and it pushed me to another level. “
“Chris Tucker called me a couple times, Martin Lawrence, Sinbad, Bill Cosby. Mr. Cosby called me when I was in the hospital. They all ripped me. All the comedians ripped me. They were all like ‘What were you doing? Barbecuing?’ It made me laugh, and that’s what we comedians do. We don’t know about emotions. We just knew how to talk mess through comedy. That also really helped me out, all the comedian friends that called me. It really pushed me forward. “
“Life After” will air its segment on Mark Curry tonight, Monday, Aug. 23 at 9pm EST on TV One. But will Curry be watching?
“No, I probably won’t watch it to tell you the truth. I like to wait and see what it’s like and then watch it by myself. I just hope that it’s funny. I don’t want people to watch it and think I’m crazy. I don’t know, I don’t know. Besides, I can’t because I am going to Japan.”
Mark Curry is an obviously talented, emotionally tormented comedian in the midst of resurgence or a tragic collapse. The final chapter is yet to be written, the full story remains untold. Quite frankly we’re concerned and we wish him the best.
Watch clips from Mark Curry’s “Life After” episode:
*We are and the families of victims, Melvin Pittman and Ernest Taylor, both 17, and three 16-year-olds, Alvin Turner, Randy Johnson and Michael McDowell who were last seen packing a pick-up truck in Newark, Nj.
They had been forced into an abandoned house, bound and left to die as the assailants burned the house to the ground. Their murders were never solved….until now. (more…)