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Texas nurse accused in fiery California wreck that killed multiple people

Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, was a Houston nurse working in the Los Angeles area.
Credit: KHOU

LOS ANGELES — A Houston nurse is the woman accused of causing a horrific crash in the Los Angeles area on Thursday.

Surveillance video captured a Mercedes-Benz speeding through the busy intersection of Slauson and La Brea Aves. before hitting several cars.

At least five people were killed, including a pregnant woman Asherey Ryan, her boyfriend Reynold Lester and her 11-month-old baby boy Alonzo.

The driver of the Mercedes has been identified as 37-year-old Nicole Lorraine Linton, a nurse from the Houston area who was working in Los Angeles.

Linton is still in the hospital, but once she's released, she'll be taken to jail for vehicular manslaughter and gross negligence.

What happened?

Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday, a Mercedes-Benz sedan ran a red light at high speed and caused the crash involving as many as six cars near a gas station in the unincorporated Windsor Hills about 10 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The California Highway Patrol said Linton, who sustained moderate injuries in the collision, was taken into custody on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

Prosecutors said they could receive the case as early as Monday and will then decide whether to file criminal charges.

It was not immediately clear whether Linton, 37, had an attorney who could comment on her behalf.

RELATED: Pregnant woman killed in fiery California crash identified

The Mercedes-Benz sedan never appeared to brake as it flew through the intersection and detectives are looking into whether Linton had a medical episode or was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“It was definitely one of the most horrific crashes that we’ve seen,” CHP Officer Franco Pepi told The Associated Press on Friday.

Several people were flung from the cars and two vehicles caught fire. Television reports showed the blackened and mangled cars, as well as a child's car seat among the debris covering the street.

The 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 car was going at least 50 mph as it raced through the crowded intersection, Pepi said 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 years old, Pepi said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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