Mercedes driver’s movements probed in fatal Windsor Hills crash

Authorities investigating the Windsor Hills crash that killed five are trying to untangle the actions and state of mind of the nurse who prosecutors say pushed her Mercedes into the intersection.

Investigators are still trying to get a full account of what brought Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, to the corner of Slauson and La Brea Avenues Thursday afternoon.

Linton, who has been charged with multiple counts of murder and homicide while driving a vehicle, was traveling more than 90 mph when she approached the busy intersection, authorities said.

The Mercedes does not seem to slow down before running a red light shortly after 1:30 p.m. The light had been red for nine seconds before the car drove through the intersection, hitting several cars, prosecutors said.

Linton, whose permanent address is in Texas, worked as a traveling nurse at a Kaiser hospital in West Los Angeles and lived near the health facility off La Cienega Boulevard. Authorities believe she drove to Windsor Hills from hospital, but are unsure why she was driving so recklessly, sources told The Times.

There are about four miles between the hospital and the site of the fatal crash, and investigators are trying to determine if Linton was working a shift at the time of Thursday’s crash.

Los Angeles County Dist. Atti. George Gascón said there was no evidence of Linton’s drinking at this point.

In court on Monday, Linton’s attorney, Halim Dhanidina, asked to continue his arraignment until October because he is reviewing his out-of-state history of “profound documented mental health issues.” Dhanidina did not elaborate on those issues, but said the Windsor Hills crash may be related to them.

Authorities are trying to determine if Linton was supposed to be taking medication and if she was using it at the time of the accident, according to law enforcement sources who spoke anonymously as the investigation is ongoing.

At least six vehicles were involved in the accident, according to California Highway Patrol investigators. In addition to the dead, eight people were injured.

The impact of the fire accident killed Asherey Ryan, 23; his 11-month-old son, Alonzo Quintero; her boyfriend, Reynold Lester; and their unborn child. Ryan was 8.5 months pregnant when she was killed. The boy she was carrying was named Armani Lester, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

Two other women killed in the accident have not yet been identified.

Linton was hospitalized with moderate injuries for several days before being taken into custody.

Los Angeles prosecutors said Monday that Linton had been involved in 13 previous shipwrecks before Thursday’s fatal crash.


Los Angeles Times

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