September 24, 2022

A 37-year-old woman faces charges of manslaughter with a fiery wreck near Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon that left five dead, including a pregnant woman and a child.

The California Highway Patrol said Friday that Nicole Lorraine Linton was behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz sedan when she sped through a red light and hit several vehicles in Windsor Hills, a neighborhood southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Linton remains hospitalized with moderate injuries and was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, the CHP said. Her case is being forwarded to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

“Our office is in close contact with the primary law enforcement agency that is investigating,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement. “A prosecutor has already been appointed and will be working with law enforcement throughout the weekend. We will provide updates as more information becomes available. The case could come to us as early as Monday.”

The violent confrontation was captured on security video. Multiple people were ejected and two vehicles were engulfed in flames, the CHP said.

The car was going at least 50 mph as it crossed the busy intersection, CHP Officer Franco Pepi said.

Multiple people killed in a fiery crash near a Windsor Hills gas station at the intersection of West Slauson and South La Brea avenues
Officials are investigating a fiery crash that killed multiple people near Los Angeles on August 4, 2022.

(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

The medical examiner’s office on Friday identified one of the dead victims as Asherey Ryan, a 23-year-old pregnant woman. Her unborn child was listed as “baby boy Ryan” in the online coroner’s records. Two other women and a man, as well as a boy, were killed but their names have not been released.

Pepi said eight others were injured, including Linton. The other victims had minor injuries and included a 33-year-old woman and six children ranging in age from 13 months to 15 years, Pepi said.

The CHP said Friday that “due to extensive fire damage, the make and model of the vehicles involved and what vehicle the individuals were traveling in are unknown at this time.”

A memorial rose outside the intersection on Friday as mourners left flowers and candles in memory of the dead.

Henry Sanchez, who works at nearby Sinclair Gas, was inside the register when he heard “the loudest noise I’ve ever heard”.

“The sound of it, it was tragic,” he told The Associated Press on Friday. “It was like two trains hitting each other, metal on metal.”

He saw people running to cars to offer help, but they were held back by the flames until firefighters arrived.

“I remember everyone trying to put out the fire and help people out as much as they could, but there was nothing anyone could do,” he said.

Another witness to the crash, Veronica Esquivel, told KTLA-TV that a baby was thrown from the vehicle and landed near her.

“All of a sudden, a baby literally flew out of the middle of the intersection into the middle of the gas station and landed right on the floor in front of me,” Esquival said. “One of the workers came and saw me with the baby and took the baby out of my hands… Someone tried to revive the baby but the baby was gone.”

Debra Jackson told CBS Los Angeles that she was about to get out of her car to get gas when she heard a loud explosion.

“The flames just passed everybody,” Jackson said. “The flames went all over my car and they told me to jump out of my car … because I was trying to get out of my car, go to the gas pump. And I jumped out of my car and as soon as I left the car was sitting there.”

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