LOS ANGELES—A registered nurse suspected of speeding a Mercedes-Benz through a Windsor Hills intersection, sparking a fiery crash that killed six people—including an infant, a pregnant woman, and her fetus—remained hospitalized and under arrest Aug. 5 on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.
The Mercedes driver, Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, of Los Angeles, survived the Aug. 4 afternoon crash and was hospitalized with “moderate” injuries at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, according to the California Highway Patrol.
She was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, according to the authority. There was no immediate word if drugs or alcohol factored into the crash.
A final determination of charges will be made by the District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney George Gascón issued a statement Friday saying his office will be “working with law enforcement throughout the weekend,” and the investigation could be presented to his office for consideration of charges “as early as Monday.”
“Preliminary investigation indicates Nicole Lorraine Linton was driving a dark colored Mercedes, traveling southbound on La Brea Avenue at a high rate of speed,” according to a California Highway Patrol statement.
“While driving the Mercedes, Linton proceeded through a red light and collided into multiple vehicles traveling eastbound and westbound on Slauson Avenue. As a result of this collision, multiple parties were ejected and two vehicles were fully engulfed in flames. Following the collision, involved parties were transported to [Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center] by ambulance and six individuals were declared deceased on scene,” the highway patrol reported.
The make and model of the involved vehicles are unknown due to the extensive fire damage, the highway patrol reported.
The Los Angeles Times reported Linton is a traveling nurse from Texas. A LinkedIn page for Nicole Lorraine Linton states she is a traveling nurse employed by a health-care staffing agency and has been working in the intensive care unit at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center.
Kaiser Permanente issued a statement Friday saying, “Everyone at Kaiser Permanente is deeply saddened by Thursday’s horrific crash. It’s impossible to imagine the pain those involved are experiencing. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy. At this time, we are not able to comment on what has been reported as a criminal investigation.”
The pregnant woman who died in the crash was identified Friday by the coroner’s office as 23-year-old Asherey Ryan of Los Angeles. She and her male fetus were among the victims killed in the crash Thursday.
According to Ryan’s family, the woman’s year-old son, Alonzo Quintero, was also killed, along with Ryan’s boyfriend, who was the father of her unborn son. Ryan’s boyfriend was driving the car when the crash happened.
Ryan’s sister, Sha’seana Kerr, posted a video online, in the video, Kerr said Ryan was 8 1/2 months pregnant, and she was on her way to a doctor’s appointment when the crash occurred.
“She left the house at 1:30. She woke me up,” Kerr said. “She woke me up and told me she was going to go to her doctor’s appointment, that she loved me and she’ll be right back.”
She said that 15 minutes later, she saw the video of the car crash.
“And for some reason, as soon as I saw that video, it hit me. It felt different. I felt connected,” she said.
Kerr said she cried throughout the night.
“I didn’t sleep one bit,” she said. “I’m all cried out.”
A GoFundMe page established on behalf of the family had already raised nearly $16,000 as of Friday afternoon.
Dramatic surveillance video from the scene showed the Mercedes plowing through the 35 mph zone on La Brea at a speed authorities estimate neared 100 mph—speeding through a red light at Slauson and broad-siding a vehicle.
The crash ignited an inferno as the sedan struck by the Merced...