A woman accused of causing a crash that killed five people, including a pregnant woman, Thursday in Los Angeles County has been arrested, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The driver, Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, was hospitalized with moderate injuries and faces a charge of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, Highway Patrol said in statement
Linton is from Houston, but she worked locally as a nurse, authorities said.
The driver was behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz that was traveling at “a high rate of speed” when it went though a red light and smashed into cross traffic in the Windsor Hills community, southwest of downtown Los Angeles, on Thursday afternoon, the CHP said in a statement.
“As a result of this collision, multiple parties were ejected and two vehicles were fully engulfed in flames,” the CHP stated.
Five people were declared dead at the scene and eight were hospitalized with injuries ranging from minor to moderate, according to Highway Patrol.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office identified the pregnant victim as Asherey Ryan, 23. Her fetus did not survive the crash and her 11-month-old son was also killed. Her son’s identity was still pending, officials said.
NBC Los Angeles reported Ryan was headed with her son to an appointment with her prenatal doctor, who was to update her on her pregnancy, when her vehicle was struck.
Ryan and her fiancé were expecting a baby boy, who they planned to name Armani, her family told the station.
Ryan’s mother, Sharita Randleston, told the station she wants the suspect in the crash held accountable. “She needs to pay for her actions,” she said.
Security video of the crash appears to show the dark Mercedes coupe traveling with no sign of deceleration southbound on La Brea Avenue, a wide street used as an alternative to often-packed Interstate 405, into bustling traffic on Slauson Avenue.
Officials said the the collision was so powerful, with vehicles burned to the ground, they’re still having a hard time determining which victim was in which vehicle.
Two women and a man were killed, according to the coroner’s office, but additional identities have not been released.
Andrew Blankstein and Eric Leonard contributed.