A Texas woman has been charged with six counts of murder for a fiery car crash in Los Angeles that killed six people, including a pregnant woman and her unborn baby.
Prosecutors say Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, of Houston, was speeding on a busy thoroughfare in Los Angeles’ Windsor Hills neighborhood on Aug. 4 about 1:30 p.m. when she blew through a red light and into crossing traffic, smashing into several cars, at least two of which burst into flames. Surveillance video captured the crash, which the Los Angeles Times reported turned the intersection “into one of the most gruesome scenes on Los Angeles streets in recent years.”
As family of the victims grieved, Los Angeles prosecutors prepared a case that District Attorney George Gascón announced Monday: Six counts of murder, including one for the unborn baby, as well as well five counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Gascón said the charging announcement begins “the process of holding accountable the person responsible for the deaths of six people, including a pregnant woman, and their families.”
“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 routines,” he said in a press release.
Gascón referenced the video of the crash, which has been widely viewed on social media, saying the horror “is not only a tremendous loss to the families but our entire community who learned of this incredible tragedy or have watched the now viral video of the collision.”
Killed in the crash were Asherey Ryan, 23, who was pregnant, her baby son and her boyfriend. Two other women in another vehicle also were killed, but they have not yet been publicly identified.
Ryan’s sister, Sha’seana Kerr, told KTLA in Los Angeles, “I just want to tell her that we forgive her,” referring to Linton.
“She will have to live with this for the rest of her life. That’s why she was spared. We understand it already,” Kerr said.
Linton, a registered nurse, was hospitalized after the crash but apparently has been released, as the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said she was to be arraigned today at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles. Her bail has been set at $9 million.
According to the California Highway Patrol, she was driving a Mercedes on La Brea Avenue when she smashed through the Slauson Avenue intersection. In addition to the cars carrying the people who died, she also allegedly struck six other vehicles, including an SUV in which five people sustained minor injuries.
[Image via KTLA screengrab]
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