LOS ANGELES – Six people, including an infant and a pregnant woman, were killed and eight other people were injured in a fiery multi-vehicle crash caused by a speeding car that ran a red light in the unincorporated Windsor Hills area.
The pregnant woman who died was identified Friday by the coroner’s office as 23-year-old Asherey Ryan of Los Angeles. She and her male fetus were among the victims killed in the crash that occurred just before 1:40 p.m. Thursday at La Brea and Slauson avenues, near Ladera Park.
The Mercedes-Benz driver, described as a woman in her 40s, remained hospitalized at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Friday, but she was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, according to the California Highway Patrol. Her name has not been released. There was no immediate word if drugs or alcohol factored into the crash.
Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters were called just before 1:40 p.m. Thursday to La Brea and Slauson avenues, near Ladera Park, on what was initially reported as a fire and discovered that as many as six vehicles had collided in the intersection after a Mercedes-Benz was seen speeding southbound on La Brea Avenue, resulting in the fire, the department reported.
Video from the scene showed the suspect Mercedes-Benz — a car model, as opposed to an SUV — traveling at a high rate of speed, running a red light at the intersection and crashing directly into a dark-colored sedan, which in turn struck several other vehicles. The Mercedes-Benz and two other vehicles burst into flames following the collision, and the wreck came to a stop at the southwest corner of the intersection after striking a gas station sign.
The fire department and the California Highway Patrol reported three adults and one infant died in the collision, and that there were multiple ejections due to the crash. One of those killed in the crash, a pregnant woman, lost her baby as a result of the collision and the fetus was being counted among the deceased.
The CHP reported a sixth victim was later found dead in the burned wreckage of one vehicle, but further information about that person was not immediately available. At least eight other people were injured in the collision, though the extent of their injuries was not immediately known.
The Mercedes-Benz was driven by a 40-year-old woman who was being treated at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for major injuries, according to the CHP. According to NBC4, she is a travel nurse and was being interviewed by the CHP.
Her name was not released.
The CHP has announced it intends to recommend the DA file charges against her.
Veronica Esquivel, 40, told the Daily News she was about to pump gas at one of the intersection’s four stations when the crash occurred.
“I heard the collision. I saw the fire … you see the fire at a gas station I just immediately thought explosion,” Esquivel said. “I saw things flying in the air … I didn’t know if something was going to come through and hit me.”
The intersection of La Brea and Slauson avenues reopened around 3:30 a.m. Friday.
The cause of the collision remains under investigation.