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Woman charged with six counts of murder in Windsor Hills crash


A nurse from Houston accused of running a red light and speeding into a Windsor Hills intersection, sparking a fiery chain-reaction crash that killed six people, including a pregnant mother, her infant son and unborn baby, has been charged with six counts of murder.

Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, has also been charged with five counts of gross vehicular manslaughter for the Aug. 4 crash at La Brea and Slauson avenues in the Windsor Hill neighborhood of Los Angeles. District Attorney George Gascón said his office cannot file the manslaughter charge in a case involving an unborn child.

The charges were filed Monday and Linton made an initial court appearance. If convicted as charged, she could face 90 years to life in prison, Gascón said.

(Later reports indicate that bail was denied. Additionally, Linton’s attorney is reviewing out-of-state history of “documented profound mental health issues.” Lindon was reportedly involved in 13 previous crashes.)

Linton was arrested Aug. 5 while she was still hospitalized for moderate injuries sustained in the crash, according to the California Highway Patrol. She was released from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center over the weekend with a broken foot and a broken wrist.”

According to a CHP statement: “Preliminary investigation indicates Nicole Lorraine Linton was driving a dark-colored Mercedes, traveling southbound on La Brea Avenue at a high rate of speed’’ when the crash occurred around 1:40 p.m. Thursday.

“While driving the Mercedes, Linton proceeded through a red light and collided into multiple vehicles traveling eastbound and westbound on Slauson Avenue. As a result of this collision, multiple parties were ejected and two vehicles were fully engulfed in flames. Following the collision, involved parties were transported to (Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center) by ambulance and six individuals were declared deceased on scene,’’ the CHP continued.

A LinkedIn page for Nicole Lorraine Linton states she is a traveling nurse from Houston, employed by a health care staffing agency, and has been working in the intensive care unit at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center.

At presstime, two women killed in the crash had yet to be identified.

The pregnant woman who died in the crash was identified on Aug. 5 by the coroner’s office as 23-year-old Asherey Ryan of Los Angeles. She and her male fetus were among the victims killed.

According to Ryan’s family, the woman’s 11-month-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 Los Angeles, 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.

“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.’’

Kerr said that 15 minutes later, she saw a video of the car crash.

“And for some reason, as soon as I saw 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.’’

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 nearly $145,000 as of Monday afternoon.

Our Weekly coverage of local news in Los Angeles County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support minority-owned-and-operated community newspapers across California.