WINDSOR HILLS, Calif. — A woman was arrested and publicly identified the day after the car she was driving slammed into vehicles at a crowded Windsor Hills intersection, starting a fire in a crash that killed six people, the California Highway Patrol said Friday. .
Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, was taken into custody at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, the CHP said in a news release.
Charges of gross negligence motor vehicle manslaughter will be recommended when the case comes before the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, the Highway Patrol said.
Earlier Friday morning, authorities identified a pregnant woman and her unborn child as two of six victims killed in the collision.
Los Angeles County coroner officials said Asherey Ryan and her unborn son died in the incident.
The coroner’s office did not immediately release the names of the four other deceased victims, but described them as a boy, whose ages were not specified, two women and a man.
The toddler who died was the son of Asherey Ryan, his sister said Friday in an interview with our sister station, Eyewitness News in Los Angeles.
“I drove to the stage,” Ryan’s sister said. “I ran past the police just because I wanted to feel his energy one more time.
“Yesterday I really lost my mind,” she said. “My family was broken yesterday. And we are still broken.”
Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday, a Mercedes-Benz coupe caused an accident involving up to six cars near a gas station, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Several people were ejected from cars and two vehicles caught fire. News footage from the scene showed the charred and mangled cars, as well as a child car seat among the debris covering the street.
Surveillance showed the Mercedes drove through an intersection, hitting at least two cars which burst into flames and were sent onto a sidewalk, slamming into the corner sign of the gas station. A fire sequence led to a car. A vehicle was cut in two.
“It looked like the whole intersection from corner to corner was on fire,” witness Harper Washington said. “Lots of sparks and electricity. I felt like, really at first, I thought they had dropped a bomb on us. I thought another world war had started. Then I realized it was a car in the panel.”
“Once the fire went out and the rumbling went away I realized there were two cars there. You could see people on fire and it’s just sad. I really pray for people and the community.”
Seven injured people were taken to hospital, including the woman driving the Mercedes. His injuries were described as not life-threatening.
The other victims had minor injuries and included a 33-year-old woman and six children aged 13 months to 15 years, CHP officer Franco Pepi said.
Witness Alphonso Word choked up as he described seeing the pregnant woman and a child immediately after the crash.
“It hurts. It’s true,” Word said. “Because I have a grandson. I know people who have children. For a mother to be pregnant…that child never had a chance.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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