A 37-year-old woman has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.Five people, including a pregnant woman and a child, died Thursday afternoon near Los Angeles.
The California Highway Patrol said Friday that Nicole Lorraine Linton drove a Mercedes-Benz sedan through a red light and crashed into several cars in Windsor Hills southeast of downtown Los Angeles on Friday. .
According to CHP, Linton is hospitalized with moderate injuries and has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter due to gross negligence. Her case has been transferred to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
“Our office is in close contact with major law enforcement agencies that are investigating,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement. “Prosecutors have already been assigned and will be working with law enforcement throughout the weekend. We will provide an update as more information becomes available. The case could be presented as early as Monday. There is a possibility.”
The violent clash was captured on security video. CHP said several people were ejected and two vehicles were engulfed in flames.
CHP Officer Franco Pepi said the car was traveling at least 50 mph when passing through the busy intersection.
On Friday, the coroner’s office identified one of the dead victims as Asherey Ryan, a 23-year-old pregnant woman. Her unborn child was listed as “boy Ryan” in the online coroner’s records. Two other women, a man, and a boy were killed, but their names were not released.
Pepi said eight people were injured, including Linton. Other victims had minor injuries and included a 33-year-old woman and six children aged 13 months to her 15, Pepi said.
“Due to the extensive fire damage, it is unknown at this time the make and model of the vehicle involved, and in which vehicle the parties involved were traveling,” the CHP said on Friday.
A memorial was erected outside the crossroads on Friday as mourners left flowers and candles to mourn the dead.
Henry Sanchez, who works for nearby Sinclair Gas, was inside the register when he heard “the loudest noise I’ve ever heard.”
“The sound was heartbreaking,” he told the Associated Press on Friday.
He saw people running to their cars for help, but they were held back by the flames until firefighters arrived.
“I remember everyone putting out fires and trying to 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 the baby was thrown out of the car and landed near her.
“Suddenly, a baby literally flew from the middle of the intersection to the middle of the gas station and landed on the floor in front of me,” Esquivar said. “One of his workers came and saw me with the baby and took the baby out of my hands. Someone tried to resuscitate the baby, but it was gone. ”
Debra Jackson told CBS Los Angeles that she was getting out of her car to pump gas when she heard a big explosion.
“The flames hit everyone,” Jackson said. “The flames spread all over my car and I was told to jump out of the car…I was about to get out of the car and I went to the petrol pump. The car is sitting right there.”