37-year-old woman faces manslaughter charges in connection with vehicle with a wreck of fire near Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon that left five people dead, including a pregnant woman and a child.
The California Highway Patrol said Friday that Nicole Lorraine Linton was driving a Mercedes-Benz sedan when it ran through a red light and slammed into several vehicles in Windsor Hills, a neighborhood southeast of downtown Los Angeles. Angeles.
Linton remains hospitalized with moderate injuries and was arrested on suspicion of grossly negligent vehicle manslaughter, the CHP said. His case is forwarded to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
“Our office is in close contact with the primary law enforcement agency leading the investigation,” 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 may come before us. starting Monday.”
The violent crash was captured on security video. Several people were ejected and two vehicles were engulfed in flames, CHP said.
The car was traveling at least 50 mph as it crossed the crowded intersection, CHP officer Franco Pepi said.
The coroner’s office on Friday identified one of the deceased victims as Asherey Ryan, a 23-year-old pregnant woman. Her unborn child was listed as “baby boy Ryan” in coroner’s records online. Two other women and a man, as well as a boy, were killed but their names have not been made public.
Pepi said eight other people were injured, including Linton. The other victims had minor injuries and included a 33-year-old woman and six children aged 13 months to 15 years, Pepi said.
The CHP said on Friday that “due to extensive fire damage, it is not known at this time the make and model of the vehicles involved and in which vehicle the parties involved were travelling.”
A memorial sprouted 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 on the inside register when he heard “the loudest noise I’ve ever heard”.
“The sound, it was heartbreaking,” he told The Associated Press on Friday. “It was like two trains colliding, metal against metal.”
He saw people rushing to the cars to offer help but they were held back by the flames until firefighters arrived.
“I remember everyone was trying to put out the fire and help people as much as they could, but nobody could do anything,” he said.
Another witness to the crash, Veronica Esquivel, told KTLA-TV that a baby was ejected from the vehicle and landed near her.
“All of a sudden a baby literally flew from the middle of the intersection to the middle of the gas station and landed right on the ground in front of me,” Esquival said. “One of the workers came and saw me with the baby and snatched the baby from my hands. (…) Someone tried to resuscitate the baby but the baby was gone.”
Debra Jackson told CBS Los Angeles that she was about to get out of her car to pump gas when she heard a large explosion.
“The flames went over everyone,” 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, to get to the gas pump. And I jumped out of my car and I just left my car sitting right there.”