An ICU nurse who killed numerous people in a 100mph California car crash has been identified and arrested following a brief hospital stay.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, stunning footage showed the moment Nicole L. Linton (pictured bottom right), 37, sped a black Mercedes through a California intersection and slammed into traffic. The crash killed five people, including a pregnant woman and an infant, and injured eight others.
The fiery crash occurred shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Windsor Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Authorities say the suspect was hurtling southbound on South La Brea Avenue going more than 100 miles per hour, ran a red light at Slauson Avenue, and plowed into other vehicles at the intersection.
The video recording shows what seemed like a normal afternoon of traffic before the black car zooms into view and ends with an explosive fireball, giving the victims and other drivers virtually no time to react.
“It almost looks like a war zone,” one California Highway Patrol officer told Fox Los Angeles.
Aerial footage showed several vehicles burned, including one that appeared to have been split in half and one that had rolled onto its roof. Debris was strewn around the intersection, which was shut down for the remainder of Thursday and into Friday morning.
DailyMail reports that a source said Linton was “fighting with her boyfriend” and “drunk” when the incident occurred. She’s reportedly cooperating with investigators after her arrest on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence charges.
Prior to her arrest, Linton was taken to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center with moderate injuries. She’s now behind bars on a $9 million bond.
“Preliminary investigation indicates Nicole Lorraine Linton was driving a dark-colored Mercedes, traveling southbound on La Brea Avenue at a high rate of speed,” a CHP statement said.
“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.”
Among the deceased were 23-year-old Asherey Ryan and her unborn baby, her 1-year-old son, Alonzo, and her boyfriend, Reynold Lester. Asherey was eight months pregnant at the time of her death.
Craig Pitchford, 66, died at the scene, while seven people inside a Chevrolet Traverse were injured. An eighth person injured has been identified only as a 19-year-old.
It’s unclear whether Linton was under the influence at the time of the crash. Medics had given her so many pain meds that a drug evaluation at the scene would not have been feasible.
Witness Alphonso Word told KTLA-TV the crash was “like a bomb.” He said he’s saddened most by the injuries and deaths of the children involved.
“Like I say, it’s the kids. That’s what touched me more than anything, the children, the ones that didn’t get a chance. The mother that probably was happy that she’s having a baby.”
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[Feature Photo: Alonzo/Facebook; Linton/LinkedIn]