Police arrest driver in Southern California crash that killed 5 people

Authorities arrested a driver after she allegedly ran a red light Thursday and plowed into other vehicles at a busy intersection, killing a pregnant woman, a child and three other adults in a fiery crash. The California Highway Patrol said Friday that Nicole Lorraine Linton, who suffered moderate injuries in the crash, was taken into custody on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter. Charges are expected to be filed in the prosecutor’s office. The medical examiner’s office identified one of the victims Friday as Asheri Ryan, a 23-year-old pregnant woman from Los Angeles. Her unborn child was listed as “boy Ryan” in online medical examiner’s records. Two other women and a man, as well as a boy, were killed, but their names were not released publicly on Friday. Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday, a Mercedes-Benz sedan caused the six-car crash near a gas station in unincorporated Windsor Hills about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southwest of downtown Los Angeles, according to the California Highway Patrol. it was definitely one of the worst crashes we’ve ever seen,” CHP Officer Franco Pepi told The Associated Press on Friday. The Mercedes-Benz sedan didn’t appear to stop as it flew through the intersection, and Pepi said detectives were checking to see if Linton was had a medical condition or was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Several people were thrown from the cars and two vehicles caught fire. Television reports showed the blackened and mangled cars, as well as a child’s car seat among the debris covering the street. Video showed the Mercedes to drive through an intersection, hitting at least two cars that burst into flames and were sent tumbling onto the pavement, winding Wed even the sign on the corner of the gas station. A burst of fire resulted in one car. One vehicle was torn in half. The car was traveling at least 80 km/h as it sped through the busy intersection, Pepi said Thursday. Eight people were taken to the hospital, including Linton. It was not immediately clear whether Linton, 37, had an attorney available to comment on her behalf. The other victims had minor injuries and included a 33-year-old woman and six children ranging in age from 13 months to 15 years, Pepi said. A memorial rose outside the intersection on Friday as mourners left flowers and candles in memory of the dead. Henry Sanchez, who works at nearby Sinclair Gas, was at the cash register inside when he heard “the loudest noise I’ve ever heard.” “The sound was shattering,” he told the AP on Friday. “It was like two trains hitting each other, metal to metal.” He saw people rushing to the cars to offer help, but the flames held them back until firefighters arrived. “I remember everybody trying to put out the fire and help people as much as they could, but nobody could do anything,” he said. ___Associated Press photojournalist Damien Dovarganes in Los Angeles and news researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.

Authorities arrested a driver after she allegedly ran a red light Thursday and plowed into other vehicles at a busy intersection, killing a pregnant woman, a child and three other adults in a fiery crash.

The California Highway Patrol said Friday that Nicole Lorraine Linton, who suffered moderate injuries in the crash, was taken into custody on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Charges are expected to be filed in the prosecutor’s office.

The medical examiner’s office identified one of the victims Friday as Asheri Ryan, a 23-year-old pregnant woman from Los Angeles. Her unborn child was listed as “boy Ryan” in medical examiners’ online records.

Two other women and a man, as well as a boy, were killed, but their names were not released publicly on Friday.

Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday, a Mercedes-Benz sedan caused the six-car crash near a gas station in unincorporated Windsor Hills about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southwest of downtown Los Angeles, according to the California Highway Patrol.

“This was definitely one of the most horrific crashes we’ve seen,” CHP Officer Franco Pepi told The Associated Press on Friday.

The Mercedes-Benz sedan did not appear to stop at all as it flew through the intersection, and Peppi said detectives are looking into whether Linton had a medical episode or was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Several people were thrown from the cars, and two cars caught fire. Television reports showed blackened and disfigured cars, as well as a child’s seat among the debris that littered the street.

Video footage shows the Mercedes careening through an intersection, hitting at least two cars that burst into flames and were sent to the pavement, rolling against the gas station’s corner sign. A burst of fire resulted in one car. One vehicle was cut in half.

The car was going at least 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) as it sped through the busy intersection, Pepi said Thursday. Eight people were taken to the hospital, including Linton.

It was not clear whether Linton, 37, had an attorney available to comment on her behalf.

The other victims had minor injuries and included a 33-year-old woman and six children ranging in age from 13 months to 15 years, Pepi said.

A memorial rose outside the intersection on Friday as mourners left flowers and candles in memory of the dead.

Henry Sanchez, who works at nearby Sinclair Gas, was at the inside register when he heard “the loudest noise I’ve ever heard”.

“It sounded like it was devastating,” he told the AP on Friday. “It’s like two trains hitting each other, metal on metal.”

He saw people rushing to cars to offer help, but the flames held them back until firefighters arrived.

“I remember everyone trying to put out the fire and help people as much as they could, but nobody could do anything,” he said.

___

Associated Press photojournalist Damien Dovarganes in Los Angeles and news researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.

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