windsor hills crash

Texas Woman Charged With Six Counts of Murder in Fiery Windsor Hills Crash

A Mercedes-Benz sedan was speeding at about 100 mph when the driver crashed into several cars at a South Los Angeles intersection.

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A nurse from Texas was charged Monday with six counts of murder in a fiery crash at a Windsor Hills intersection that left six dead, including a pregnant woman and her baby, Los Angeles County prosecutors said.

Nicole Lorraine Linton, a 37-year-old registered nurse from Houston, also faces five counts of vehicular manslaughter in Thursday's crash and fire. She faces up to 90 years to life in prison.

Linton was released from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center over the weekend and is now being held on $9 million bail at the Century Regional Detention Center, according to jail records. Her bail was initially set at $2 million and it is unclear why it was raised.

It was not immediately clear whether she had an attorney who could comment.

Security camera video showed the Mercedes-Benz, traveling at an estimated 100 mph in a 35 mph zone, slam into the side of a vehicle before flames erupt from the wreckage. The Mercedes-Benz was southbound on La Brea Avenue when it blew through a red light at the intersection.

The CHP said several people were ejected from vehicles and two were fully engulfed in flames.

“It was definitely one of the most horrific crashes that we’ve seen,” CHP Officer Franco Pepi said Friday.

A pregnant woman who died in the crash was identified Friday by the coroner's office as 23-year-old Asherey Ryan of LA. 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 that was struck, according to a video posted online by Ryan's sister, Shoshanna Kerr.

Kerr identified him as Reynold Lester, 24, of LA who worked as a security guard. 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.

"A young family was destoyed in the blink of an eye," District Attorney George Gascón said Monday when he announced the criminal charges.

The community in Windsor Hills has been gathering to pay their respects at the site of a deadly crash that left six dead. Darsha Philips reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Aug. 7, 2022.

The family was planning to name the unborn infant Armani Lester, according to the LA County coroner's office.

"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 video of the car crash. "And for some reason, as soon as I seen 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."

Shoshanna Kerr also told reporters that Ryan's family forgives the driver who caused the crash.

"I just want to tell her that we forgive her,'' she said. "She will have to live with this for the rest of her life. That's why she was spared. We understand it already.''

A GoFundMe page established on behalf of the family had raised over $127,000 as of Sunday morning.

Two other women were also killed but their names weren’t made public as of Monday.

On Friday and again on Saturday night, friends and family gathered at the crash site to remember and say goodbye to the victims. Lighted candles dotted a memorial near the site of the fiery crash. Saturday's gathering included some LA County firefighters who were among the first to respond to the crash.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, a nearby resident and president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, told reporters the intersection has been historically dangerous with speeding vehicles, as well as the scene of occasional street takeovers.

The crash ignited an inferno as the sedan struck by the Mercedes was pushed into at least one other vehicle, and both wound up against a gas station sign on the corner. A trail of fire was left burning in the intersection as the vehicles struck by the speeding driver were engulfed in flames.

CHP reports indicate eight vehicles, including Linton's, were involved in the collision. The heavily damaged Mercedes ended up near a bench down the street.

According to the fire department and the CHP, three adults and one infant died in the collision, and there were multiple ejections due to the crash. Ryan's male fetus was also being counted among the deceased.

The CHP reported a sixth victim was later found dead in the burned wreckage of one vehicle, but further information about that person has not been released.

Eight others were injured in the collision, including seven occupants of a Chevrolet Traverse. The 33-year-old driver, a year-old boy and three teenagers suffered moderate injuries, while two other teens inside the vehicle had only minor injuries.

The eighth victim -- the 19-year-old driver of an Audi A3 -- also suffered minor injuries.

Correction: An earlier version of this article indicated that 66-year-old man, possibly a pedestrian, was killed at the scene. Only four individuals have been identified by the coroner's office as of Monday morning.

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