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Model's attorney investigating crash

Niki Taylor
Niki Taylor  

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- An attorney for model Niki Taylor said Monday he was investigating the car crash that critically injured her, seeking to determine what factors may have contributed to her injuries.

Attorney Stephen Screnci said the siting of a metal pole in front of a wooden telephone pole, which the car struck, and the seat belt itself are two items he would look at.

Speaking with CNN by telephone from his office in Boca Raton, Florida, Screnci said he was in Atlanta last week, meeting with police and examining the crash site and car.


"It's really just an investigation of behalf of Ms. Taylor," he said. "The goal is to see what happened and make a determination on whether or not there were any outside factors that caused her injuries or added to her injuries. But we haven't made any conclusions at this point."

Taylor remains in critical condition at Grady Hospital. She was a passenger in a car driven by her friend, Chad Renegar, when the crash occurred April 29 in Atlanta.

Renegar, 27, blamed a cell phone for distracting him, causing him to drive his 1993 Nissan Maxima with Taylor in the passenger seat and a third person in the back into a telephone pole.

He and Taylor were wearing seat belts, he said. The car's sole air bag -- on the driver's side -- deployed. Neither he nor the third occupant, John Lack, 30, of Atlanta was seriously injured.

Taylor's business manager, Lou Taylor (no relation), said the model suffered severe injuries to her liver and abdomen, but no damage to her face or head.

In his investigation, Screnci, who is working with attorney Frank Corso, said he would look at the siting of the metal pole the car struck.

"To put a metal pole in front of the wooden pole seems strange," he said.

Screnci said he would also look at the car's seat belt.

"I haven't had an opportunity to look into that make and model to see if there is a history with that seat belt," he said.

lou taylor
Publicist Lou Taylor said the supermodel suffered internal injuries  

Screnci said he talked briefly with Renegar, who had a lawyer present.

Taylor's modeling career began at age 14 when she appeared on the cover of Seventeen magazine. She became a top runway model, landed multi-million-dollar contracts with Cover Girl cosmetics and Liz Claiborne fashions, and appeared on the covers of scores of magazines, including the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

In 1995 at her Florida home, she found her 19-year-old sister, fellow model Krissi, unconscious from an asthma attack aggravated by a heart condition. Krissi died at the hospital. Since then, Niki Taylor has raised money for asthma research.

At age 19, she married arena football player Matt Martinez. They had twin sons, born in 1995.

The couple divorced after three years of marriage.

Publicist: Supermodel Niki Taylor critically hurt in crash
May 1, 2001

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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