LOS ANGELES — A pregnant woman who died along with her young son and three others in a burning accident caused by a speeding car was on her way to a prenatal doctor’s appointment, her sister said on Friday.
Thursday’s crash killed Asherey Ryan, her 11-month-old son Alonzo Quintero and her boyfriend Reynold Lester, Sha’seana Kerr said in a GoFundMe post.
“Everybody’s heartbroken,” Kerr told KABC-TV. “She literally walked out the door because we all live together, and she said, ‘Okay, I love you all. I’m going to my doctor’s appointment to check on the baby.’ We said, ‘Oh, why don’t you leave our nephew here?’ She said, ‘No, I want to take my son with me.’ Knowing that really broke our hearts.”
Lester’s family told KABC-TV that the 24-year-old security guard was the father of the unborn child, listed as “Baby Ryan” in the online coroner’s records.
Two other women and a man were also killed, but their names were not released Friday.
Just after 1:30 p.m. Thursday, a Mercedes-Benz sedan ran a red light at high speed, causing the crash involving up to six cars near a gas station in the unincorporated Windsor Hills, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southwest of downtown LA, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The California Highway Patrol said Nicole Lorraine Linton, who sustained moderate injuries in the crash, was taken into custody on suspicion of negligent manslaughter with gross negligence.
Prosecutors said they could receive the case as early as Monday and then decide whether to press charges.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Linton, 37, had an attorney who could speak for her.
The Mercedes-Benz sedan never seemed to brake as it flew through the intersection, and Pepi said detectives are investigating whether Linton had a medical episode or was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“It was definitely one of the most horrifying accidents we’ve ever seen,” CHP commissioner Franco Pepi told The Associated Press on Friday.
Several people were thrown from the cars and two vehicles caught fire. TV reports showed the blackened and mangled cars, as well as a child car seat among the debris that littered the street.
Video showed the Mercedes speeding through an intersection and hitting at least two cars, which burst into flames and were thrown onto a sidewalk and crashed into the gas station corner sign. A fiery streak led to a car. A vehicle was torn in half.
The car was traveling at at least 80 km/h as it sped through the crowded intersection, Pepi said on Thursday. Eight people were taken to the hospital, including Linton.
The other victims had minor injuries and included a 33-year-old woman and six children, ranging in age from 1 to 15, Pepi said.
A memorial grew before the crossing 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 checkout when he heard “the loudest noise I’ve ever heard.”
“The sound of it was heartbreaking,” he told the AP on Friday. “It was like two trains colliding, metal on metal.”
He saw people rushing to the cars to offer help, but they were held back by the flames until firefighters arrived.
“I remember everyone tried to put out the fire and help people as best they could, but nobody could do anything,” he said.
Veronica Esquival told KTLA-TV that she covered her head for protection as debris flew.
“All of a sudden, a baby literally flew from the middle of the intersection to the middle of the gas station and landed on the ground right in front of me,” Esquival said. “One of the workers came and saw me with the baby and took the baby out of my hands. … Someone tried to resuscitate the baby, but the baby was gone.”
Debra Jackson, told KCBS-TV, was about to get out of her car to pump gas when she heard a large explosion.
“The flames just went over everyone,” Jackson said. “The flames went all over my car and they told me to jump out of my car… because I was trying to get out of my car to go to the gas pump. And I jumped out of my car and just left my car right there.”
Associated Press photojournalist Damian Dovarganes in Los Angeles and news researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
https://6abc.com/california-crash-drunk-driver-speeding-car-victims/12104534/ Woman heading to prenatal checkup among several killed in California crash caught on camera