37-year-old woman facing vehicular homicide charge with a fiery wreck Five people, including a pregnant woman and a child, died on Thursday afternoon near Los Angeles.
The California Highway Patrol said Friday that Nicole Loren Linton was behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz sedan when it sped through a red light and slammed into several vehicles in Windsor Hills, southeast of downtown LA. There is a neighbourhood.
The CHP said Linton was hospitalized with minor injuries and was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide by gross negligence. Her case is being referred to the LA County District Attorney’s Office.
“Our office is in close contact with the major law enforcement agency investigating this,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement. “A prosecutor has already been assigned and will work with law enforcement throughout the weekend. We will provide updates as more information becomes available. The case could be presented to us as early as Monday.”
The violent accident was captured on security video. The CHP said several people were pulled out and two vehicles caught fire.
CHP officer Franco Pepi said the car was going at least 50 mph while passing through a crowded intersection.
The coroner’s office on Friday identified one of the deceased victims as Asheri Ryan, a 23-year-old pregnant woman. Her unborn child was listed in the online coroner’s records as “Baby Boy Ryan”. Two other women and a man, as well as a boy, were murdered, but their names were not made public.
Pepi said eight others were injured, including Linton. Pepi said other victims suffered minor injuries and included a 33-year-old woman and six children aged between 13 months and 15 years.
The CHP said on Friday that “due to the extensive damage caused by the fire, it is unknown at this time the make and model of the vehicles involved and what vehicles the parties involved were traveling in.”
A memorial was erected outside the square on Friday, as mourners left flowers and candles in memory of the dead.
Henry Sanchez, who works at nearby Sinclair Gas, was at the indoor register when he heard “the loudest sound I’ve ever heard”.
“The sound of it, it was heartbreaking,” he told the Associated Press on Friday. “It was like two trains hitting each other, metal on metal.”
They saw people running to the cars to offer help but were kept out of the flames until firefighters arrived.
“I remember everyone was trying to douse the fire and help people as much as possible, but no one could do anything,” he said.
Another witness to the accident, Veronica Esquivel, told KTLA-TV that a child was thrown out of the vehicle and turned to her.
“All of a sudden, a kid literally flew from the middle of the intersection to the middle of the gas station and landed on the floor in front of me,” Esquival said. “One of the staff came and saw me with the child and took the child out of my hands. … Somebody tried to revive the child but the child 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 huge explosion.
“The flames engulfed everyone,” Jackson said. “The flames went up all over my car and they told me to jump out of my car… as I was trying to get out of my car, to go to the gas pump. And I got out of my car jumped and just left the car is sitting there.”