Houston woman charged after California fire accident that left 6 dead and several injured, authorities say

LOS ANGELES – A Houston woman is facing charges after a violent crash at a Los Angeles intersection that killed six people, including a pregnant woman, and injured several others, authorities say.

Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, suffered moderate injuries in the crash, California Highway Patrol officials said in a statement. She was driving her Mercedes-Benz when she allegedly ran a red light at a busy intersection, causing a chain accident involving multiple vehicles.

Linton is charged with manslaughter and gross negligence, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Family members confirmed to KNBC that Linton was a traveling nurse from Houston working in Los Angeles.

What happened?

The video showed the Mercedes driving through an intersection, hitting at least two cars which burst into flames and were sent onto a sidewalk, ending up against the corner sign of the gas station. A fire sequence led to a car. A vehicle was torn in two.

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

The car was traveling at least 50 mph (80 km/h) as it drove through the crowded intersection, Pepi said on 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 memorial sprouted outside the intersection on Friday as mourners left flowers and candles in memory of the dead.

Prosecutors said they could receive the case as soon as next Monday and would then decide whether to file criminal charges.

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

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

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Several people were ejected from cars and two vehicles caught fire. TV reports showed the blacked out and mangled cars, along with a child car seat among the debris covering the street.

Henry Sanchez, who works at nearby Sinclair Gas, was on the inside register when he heard “the loudest noise I’ve ever heard”.

“The sound, it was heartbreaking,” he told the AP on Friday. “It was like two trains colliding, metal against metal.”

He saw people rushing to the cars to offer help but they were held back by the flames 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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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