A Houston nurse was charged Monday with six counts of murder and five counts of motor vehicle manslaughter in the violent crash that killed six people, including a baby and a pregnant woman.
Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, was driving a Mercedes-Benz that ran a red light on Slauson and La Brea Avenues last Thursday and, according to the CHP. The six people killed included all members of a family – 23 the child she was pregnant with, her boyfriend, Reynold Lester, 24, who was the father of her unborn son, and her son Alonzo, who was about to celebrate his first birthday.
The charges include six counts of murder and five counts of manslaughter. District Attorney George Gascón said his office could not press charges for manslaughter in a case involving an unborn child.
“This is a case that will always be remembered for the senseless loss of so many innocent lives as they simply went about their daily lives,” Gascón said in a statement.
Linton is scheduled to appear in court Monday in the case. If convicted, she faces 90 years to life in prison, Gascón said.
Surveillance video from the scene showed the Mercedes driving through a red light in a 35mph zone on La Brea at a speed estimated by authorities at around 100mph and driving through another vehicle, which burst into flames. He was pushed into at least one other vehicle and the two ended up against a gas station sign on the corner of the intersection. The impact of the fire accident left a trail of flames from the intersection.
A total of eight vehicles, including Linton’s, were involved in the crash. Linton’s Mercedes ended up near a bench in the street.
Two other women who died in the accident have not yet been identified, according to Gascón. The occupants of six other vehicles, including five in an SUV and another driver in another vehicle, were also injured.
“While the wreckage from this fire accident at this intersection has been removed and traffic has finally resumed, there is catastrophic damage to the families and friends of those killed and injured,” Gascón said. “It is not just a huge loss for the families but for all of our community who learned of this incredible tragedy or who watched the now viral video of the collision.”
Gascón said there was no evidence that alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident, but it has not yet been ruled out.
Houston’s traveling nurse waswhile still hospitalized with moderate injuries sustained in the crash. She was released from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center over the weekend and is being held on $9 million bond.