A somber vigil was held Friday evening to honor the victims of a multi-vehicle crash in 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 at the time of the fiery collision on Thursday, her sister Seana Kerr told ABC7. Ryan’s 11-month-old son Alonzo Quintero and her boyfriend, Reynold Lester, were also among the deceased victims.
“Everybody’s heartbroken,” Kerr said in an interview. “She literally walked out the door, because we all live together, and she said, ‘Ok, I love y’all. I’m going to my doctor’s appointment to check up on the baby.’ We asked, ‘Oh, why don’t you leave our nephew here?’ She said, ‘No, I want to take my son for a ride.’ So, knowing that really, really broke our hearts.”
Lester’s family told ABC7 that the 24-year-old security guard was the father of the unborn child, who was listed as “baby boy Ryan” in online coroner’s records.
Two other women and a man were also killed but their names weren’t made public Friday.
Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday, a Mercedes-Benz coupe ran a red light at high speed and caused the crash involving as many as six cars near a gas station at the intersection of Slauson and La Brea avenues, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The California Highway Patrol said 37-year-old Nicole Lorraine Linton, who was injured in the collision, was taken into custody at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.
Prosecutors said they could receive the case as early as next Monday and will then decide whether to file criminal charges.
“I drove to the scene,” Kerr said. “I ran past the police officers just because I wanted to feel her energy one more time. Yesterday, I truly lost it. My family was broken yesterday, and we’re still broken.”
Alonzo would have turned one-year-old on Aug. 17, his family said.
Meanwhile, Ryan’s mother said family members have set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses.
The Mercedes-Benz coupe never appeared to brake as it flew through the intersection and CHP Officer Franco Pepi said detectives are looking into whether Linton had a medical episode or was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Several people were flung from the cars and two vehicles caught fire. News video from the scene showed the charred and mangled cars, as well as a child’s car seat among the debris covering the street.
Surveillance video showed the Mercedes careening through an intersection, striking at least two cars that exploded in flames and were sent hurtling onto a sidewalk, winding up against the gas station’s corner sign. A fiery streak 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 that lost loved ones in the horrific car collision that occurred yesterday in Windsor Hills. This incredible tragedy has sent shockwaves throughout Los Angeles and the loss of so many precious lives will have a lasting impact on those that are closest to them.Our office is in close contact with the lead law enforcement agency investigating. A prosecutor has already been assigned and will be working with law enforcement throughout the weekend. We will provide updates as more information becomes available. The case could be presented to us as early as Monday.”