After “American Idol” alum Katharine McPhee cut her trip to Jakarta, Indonesia, short on August 11, 2023, she told fans that a family tragedy back in the United States would cause her to miss the concerts she had planned to perform there with her husband, Grammy-winning music producer and composer David Foster.
McPhee did not elaborate on the tragedy, but TMZ later reported that the nanny of the couple’s 2-year-old son, Rennie, had died. On August 15, TMZ revealed his nanny, 55-year-old Yadira Calito, was the victim of a horrific accident at a Toyota dealership in Mission Hills, a Los Angeles neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley. An 84-year-old woman accidentally drove her SUV into the dealership, hitting multiple bystanders including Calito, according to multiple reports.
According to the Daily Bulletin, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) continues to investigate the incident, which happened just after 9 a.m. on August 9. Compounding the tragedy, Calito had posted on social media just three weeks prior that she was grieving the death of her own mother. Here’s what you need to know:
Driver Plowed Into Car Dealership, Killing Yadira Calito: Report
On August 13, the LAPD issued a press release about the fatal accident at the Hamer Toyota dealership. A 2017 Toyota RAV4 was entering the service center, the LAPD said, when “the driver accelerated for unknown reasons and collided with several people who were inside.”
The release continued, “The force of the collision caused injuries to two employees, and a customer. Major damage was also caused to the inside of the business.”
Two male employees, ages 23 and 35, were “treated for non-life-threatening injuries and are expected to make a full recovery,” the LAPD said. The driver of the vehicle, an 84-year-old woman, was unhurt. The LAPD did not identify Calito but said a 55-year-old woman “sustained fatal injuries was pronounced deceased at the hospital.”
Video shared by local news station Fox 11 showed people trying to reach the woman believed to be Calito, trapped beneath the SUV, and someone is heard shouting, “Call 9-1-1!” The LAPD did not arrest the driver, who has remained unidentified, and told the station that it looked to be a “tragic accident.”
“She accelerated instead of pressing on the brakes,” Detective Lisset Fuentes of the LAPD Traffic Division said. “She went into the service area, into some offices, and ran over three people.”
The station reported that the victim was pinned under the SUV and dragged for about 20 feet before eventually being freed from under the vehicle. Bystanders administered CPR until firefighters and paramedics arrived, Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Erik Scott said, adding that the victim was transported to a trauma center “in grave condition.”
Katharine McPhee Called Calito’s Death a ‘Horrible Tragedy in Our Family’
After McPhee and Foster learned of the accident, she pulled out of his Hitman: David Foster & Friends Asian tour, which also featured singers Michael Bolton, Loren Allred, Peabo Bryson and Raisa.
McPhee, who was runner-up to Taylor Hicks on the fifth season of “American Idol,” wrote on Instagram, “Dearest Jakarta fans, it’s with heavy heart I announce I have to miss our final two shows of our Asia run. David and I have had a horrible tragedy in our family and at least one of us need to get back home to our family.”
She added, “Please know how sorry I am and how much I wish to return one day and perform for you all.”
It is not clear if Rennie was with his parents in Jakarta or back home in California.
On August 12, The Daily Mail shared photos of McPhee arriving at LAX in a baseball cap and sweatpants. On August 15, additional photos were captured of the singer casually dressed in a tank top and shorts, exiting a car in Brentwood, California. She nor Foster have said anything more about the tragedy since her post.
Calito had recently lost her own mother, according to her Facebook page. In a post on July 25, she wrote in Spanish, “The sky opened my mother has gone up to reunite with her son rest in peace my mother always in my heart “