Mercedes driver arrested in Windsor Hills crash that killed 5

A registered nurse has been arrested and will be booked on vehicular manslaughter charges in the fiery Windsor Hills crash that killed five people, including a pregnant woman, law enforcement sources confirmed to The Times on Friday.

Investigators arrested Nicole Linton, 37, who they said was speeding the Mercedes-Benz that crashed into traffic at the intersection of La Brea and Slauson avenues. Linton is currently in the hospital and is cooperating with California Highway Patrol investigators, the sources said.

News of her arrest came as the medical examiner released the name of the pregnant woman who died, 23-year-old Asherey Ryan.

Ryan, 8 1/2 months pregnant, was with her boyfriend on the way to a doctor’s appointment when the Mercedes crashed into their car. She and her boyfriend died, as did her 1-year-old baby and Ryan’s fetus, according to Ryan’s sister. The county coroner has yet to release official IDs for anyone besides Ryan.

“I already cried. I cried. I didn’t sleep a bit. I’m crying,” Sha’seana Kerr, who identified herself as Ryan’s sister, said on Instagram. “We have to bury four people.”

When Kerr saw the video of the accident shortly after it happened, he knew something was wrong.

“As soon as I saw that video, I realized, it was different. I felt connected,” she posted. “She took my sister, my nephews, my brother-in-law. She took my son’s only cousin. We are so deeply hurt.”

Authorities are reviewing Linton’s blood tests to determine if he was under the influence at the time of the crash, according to two law enforcement sources.

The Los Angeles County district attorney will indict her on Monday. A member of Linton’s family declined to speak to a Times reporter on Friday.

Linton is likely to be charged with killing the unborn child and the five others.

Eight people were also injured in the accident.

California Highway Patrol officers and first responders are investigating a crash that killed multiple people near a Windsor Hills gas station on Thursday.

(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

Surveillance video shows a Mercedes-Benz speeding through La Brea as dozens of cars cross the intersection in Slauson. The Mercedes runs a red light and crashes into cars at the intersection, then bursts into flames and hurtles into a utility pole, where it stalls.

After the crash, a streak of fire burned on the ground.

Smoke could be seen billowing out for miles.

Officer Franco Pepi, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, said Thursday afternoon that three adults, including a pregnant woman, and an infant were killed in the crash.

Authorities later found the remains of another person inside one of the burned vehicles, he said. That person’s gender or age were not known Thursday night.

A Windsor Hills intersection was set ablaze in a multi-vehicle collision Thursday.

Authorities took eight people to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for treatment, he said. Of those injured, six were teenagers and one suffered serious injuries.

A worker sweeps with a broom.

A worker cleans up the scene a day after a fiery car crash left five people dead at the corner of La Brea and Slauson avenues in Windsor Hills.

(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

A woman who did not want to be named told The Times that a Mercedes-Benz hit her car as she was leaving a United Oil service station.

“I was coming out, I had gas,” he said. “Suddenly, Mercedes comes at me in… fire. I didn’t have time to think about it. He hit my car. I swerved, hit the bank from the side.”

The accident made him fear a gasoline explosion, he told The Times.

Nearby, Linton’s Mercedes-Benz crashed into the curb and stopped.

People lean against a fence, looking at the scene of an accident.

Neighbors in the area check the scene of the fatal accident.

(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, but the CHP spokesperson said investigators determined the Mercedes-Benz was traveling “at a high rate of speed” and ran a red light while traveling south on La Brea.

At least six vehicles were involved in the crash, three of which were engulfed in flames, Pepi said. The others suffered moderate damage.

First responders comfort each other at the scene of an accident.

Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department embrace at the scene of the multi-fatal accident.

(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

Mourners began gathering at the crash site on Friday. Road crews were replacing road signs that were damaged in the accident. Witnesses described a horrible scene.

Eran Hall has worked at La Brea Gas across the street for about eight months and has seen several car accidents, but never like the one that happened Thursday.

“Everyone was in shock,” Hall told The Times on Friday morning. “Some people started running from the gas station because of all the flames. Other people started to help the drivers of the other cars who were pushed to the side.”

At least two people ran out with fire extinguishers, Hall said.

Henry Sanchez, who works at the Sinclair gas station, said the flames were out of control.

“At that point, it was too late for people to do anything,” Sanchez said.

Before the crash, Sánchez heard the screeching sound of the car coming down the hill.

“You can hear the screeching of the tires,” Sánchez said. “The sound stuck with me.”

Noel Senior, who works at Little Kingston Jamaican, heard a loud bang and when he walked out of his business and looked down the street, he saw a column of flames licking at the gas station sign. “There was nothing we could have done. Nobody was going to get out of the fire,” Senior said.

“Everyone was going through a process where they didn’t really know what to do and they helped as best they could,” said Jamarcus Robinson, who had walked into United Oil for a Powerade while out for a run. “We saw a baby. There was a car seat across the street and a baby not far away.”

“I could hardly sleep at night,” he added.

Veronica Esquival told KTLA-TV Channel 5 that a baby came to rest at the intersection. “One of the workers came and saw me with the baby and took it from my hands. Someone tried to resuscitate the baby, but the baby was gone,” he said.

Leave a Comment