Mother of 2 had just picked up her children before crash that took her life

Her children, ages 3 & 5, both survived crash in Nassau County

Photo provided by family member.

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Taylor White had just picked up her two daughters from spending a week with their grandparents in Georgia on Jan. 14.

The three said their goodbyes and started the drive back to Jacksonville.

“I just hugged her,” said White’s mother, Shannon Harbeson. “I didn’t know that would be it.”

On their way home, the 27-year-old and her two daughters were in a crash. White’s children — ages 3 and 5 — survived.

Harbeson said she had just eaten dinner when she received a phone call.

“Usually, I don’t even answer because it was a different number I don’t know. I thought, oh, Jacksonville — and it was the hospital where the girls were,” Harbeson said. “They didn’t know where Taylor was.”

Harbeson, who was still in Georgia, frantically called her sons in Jacksonville. They made call after call — checking hospitals in the area.

“Finally, as I’m packing — I’m packing my stuff to go and the surgeon told me that they have her and she was alive after the accident, she made it to the hospital,” Harbeson said. “But then her heart stopped.”

A Florida Highway Patrol report states that White was driving near State Road 2 and County Road 121 when her car crashed into a pickup truck.

Flowers have been left near the site in White’s memory.

Through the pain, Harbeson and the family is thankful the her granddaughters survived.

“By the grace of God they, they made it out,” Harbeson said.

Harbeson said her two granddaughters are expected to physically recover. She said the older of the two sisters had a broken wrist. The grandmother has created a GoFundMe to raise money for the children.

“Family, to me, is everything,” Harbeson said. “There’s nothing else. You can buy everything else in the world, but you can’t buy your family.”


About the Author:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.