WINDSOR HILLS, Calif. (KABC) – A somber vigil was held on Friday night to pay tribute to the victims of a multi-vehicle crash in the Windsor Hills that killed six people, including a pregnant woman who died along with her young son.
Asherey Ryan was on her way to a prenatal doctor’s appointment when Thursday’s fiery encounter occurred, her sister, Seana Kerr, told ABC7. Ryan’s 11-month-old son, Alonzo Quintero, and her boyfriend, Reynold Lester, were also among the dead.
“Everybody’s heartbroken,” Kerr said in an interview. “She literally walked out the door because we all live together and said, ‘OK, I love you all.’ I’m going to the doctor to check on the baby’s condition.” We said, ‘Oh, why don’t you leave our nephew here?’ She said, “No, I want to give my son a ride.” So knowing that it really, really broke our hearts.”
Lester’s family told ABC7 the 24-year-old security guard was the father of the unborn child, who was listed as “boy Ryan” in online coroner’s records.
Two other women and a man were also killed, but their names were not released Friday.
Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday, a Mercedes-Benz coupe ran a red light at high speed and caused a six-car crash near a gas station at the intersection of Slauson and La Brea streets, according to the California Highway Patrol. .
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The California Highway Patrol said 37-year-old Nicole Lorraine Linton, who was injured in the crash, was taken into custody at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.
Prosecutors said they could receive the case as early as next Monday and then decide whether to file a criminal case.
“I drove to the scene,” Kerr said. “I ran past the police just because I wanted to feel her energy again. I really lost her yesterday. My family was destroyed yesterday and we’re still broken.”
Alonzo would have turned one on Aug. 17, his family said.
Meanwhile, Ryan’s mother said family members have set up a GoFundMe to help cover funeral costs.
Ryan was a stay-at-home mom and student, according to her family.
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The Mercedes-Benz coupe never stopped as it flew through the intersection, and CHP Officer Franco Pepi said detectives are investigating whether Linton suffered from medical conditions or was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Several people fell out of the cars and two vehicles caught fire. News video from the scene shows burnt and battered cars, as well as a child’s car seat, among the debris covering the street.
Surveillance video showed the Mercedes speeding through the intersection and hitting at least two cars, which burst into flames and were pushed onto the sidewalk after hitting the gas station’s corner sign. The line of fire led to one car. One vehicle was torn in half.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office released the following statement Friday afternoon:
“My heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones in the horrific car crash in Windsor Hills yesterday. This incredible tragedy sent shock waves throughout Los Angeles, and the loss of so many precious lives will have a lasting impact on those closest to them.Our office maintains close contact with the primary law enforcement agency conducting the investigation. The prosecutor has already been appointed and will work with law enforcement throughout the weekend. We will provide updates as more information becomes available. The case could be presented to us already on Monday.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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