DeKALB – Friends remembered Tiffany Taylor as a caring person who wanted to travel the world Sunday, the day after her brother was charged with aggravated DUI in the crash that killed her.
About 40 people gathered in the rain Sunday at Liberty Park in DeKalb and released about 100 balloons with messages to her written on them. Tiffany was an old soul who was intelligent, loyal and laid back, friends said. She had two cats that she treated like children.
“She wanted to see everything,” friend Amie Neumann said. “She was very caring, very concerned with everyone.”
Tyrus M. Taylor, 19, of the 1100 block of Market Street, DeKalb, was driving west on Plank Road toward Moose Range Road near Sycamore about 3:40 a.m. Saturday when his car crashed, throwing his 20-year-old sister from the vehicle and killing her, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office said.
Police charged him with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, improper lane usage and failure to reduce speed following the crash. Tiffany Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tyrus Taylor told police he lost control of his 1994 Honda Accord, police said. The Honda left the road and rolled before it hit a utility pole, police said.
Tyrus Taylor was taken to Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb, where he was treated for non life-threatening injuries that were no. Hospital officials would not disclose his condition Sunday.
According to police, Tyrus Taylor was wearing a seatbelt during the incident, but they did not know if Tiffany Taylor was. Friends said they were surprised to learn Tiffany was ejected from the car because she usually wore her seatbelt.
Neumann said the siblings were headed home from a bonfire at the time of the crash.
Where the two were coming from will be a key piece of the DeKalb County sheriff’s investigation, Chief Deputy Gary Dumdie said.
“One aspect we’re still working on is where they were and where they obtained the alcohol,” Dumdie said. “Tyrus was underage, so that’s something we will be looking at.”
As friends mourned for her Sunday, they also said a prayer for Tyrus Taylor.
“He made a mistake, but we’re all here for him,” childhood friend Brendan Roberston said.
After friends held hands and prayed, Neumann said she hoped a clear message came from the tragedy.
“I want this to be a lesson people actually take something from,” Neumann said. “There is no reason to get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking. This was senseless. There’s no reason this should have happened.”