THE ANGELS –
A pregnant woman who died along with her young son and three others in a serious speeding car accident was on her way to an appointment with a prenatal doctor, her sister said 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.
“Everyone is heartbroken,” Kerr told KABC-TV. “He literally walked out the door, because we all live together, and said, ‘Okay, I love you all. I go to my doctor’s appointment to see how the baby is doing. We asked him: ‘Oh, why don’t you leave our nephew here?’ She said, ‘No, I want to take my son for a walk.’ So knowing that really, really broke our hearts.”
Lester’s family told KABC-TV that the 24-year-old security guard was the father of the unborn child, who was listed as “baby Ryan” in online forensic 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 sedan ran a red light at high speed and caused the six-car crash near a gas station in unincorporated Windsor Hills, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southwest of downtown Los Angeles. , according to the California Highway Patrol.
The California Highway Patrol said Nicole Lorraine Linton, who suffered moderate injuries in the collision, was booked on suspicion of grossly negligent vehicular manslaughter.
Prosecutors said they could hear the case next Monday and then decide whether to file criminal charges.
It was not immediately clear if Linton, 37, had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
The Mercedes-Benz sedan never appeared 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 horrific accidents we’ve ever seen,” CHP Officer Franco Pepi told The Associated Press on Friday.
Several people were thrown from cars and two vehicles caught fire. Television reports showed the blackened and mangled cars, as well as a child seat among the rubble littering the street.
Video showed the Mercedes going through an intersection, hitting at least two cars that exploded into flames and were sent careening onto a sidewalk, ending up against the corner sign for the gas station. A streak of fire led to a car. One vehicle was split in half.
The car was going at least 50 mph (80 kph) as it went through the busy intersection, Pepi said Thursday. Eight people were taken to hospital, including Linton.
The other victims had minor injuries and included a 33-year-old woman and six children between the ages of 1 and 15, Pepi said.
A monument grew outside the intersection Friday, as mourners left flowers and candles in memory of the dead.
Henry Sanchez, who works at nearby Sinclair Gas, was at the inside cash register when he heard “the loudest noise I’ve ever heard.”
“The sound of that, it was heartbreaking,” he told the AP on Friday. “It was like two trains crashing into each other, metal on metal.”
He saw people run to cars to offer help, but the flames held them back until firefighters arrived.
“I remember everyone was trying to put out the fire and help people as much as they could, but nobody could do anything,” he said.
Veronica Esquival told KTLA-TV that she covered her head to protect herself 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 right on the floor in front of me,” Esquival said. “One of the workers came and saw me with the baby and took it from my hands. … Someone tried to resuscitate the baby, but he was gone.”
Debra Jackson told KCBS-TV that she was about to get out of her car to get gas when she heard a large explosion.
“The flames just covered 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 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.