METROPOLIS LA COUNTY
Nurse in fiery
LA crash will
Nicole L. Linton
LOS ANGELES (CNS)—Charges could be filed today against a nurse from Houston who is suspected of driving a Mercedes and speeding through a Windsor Hills intersection Aug. 4, sparking a fiery crash that killed six people—including an infant and a pregnant woman.
Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, was arrested Friday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. She was released from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center this weekend, where she had been hospitalized with moderate injuries. Linton was now being held on $9 million bail at the Century Regional Detention Center, according to jail records. It was initially set at $2 million.
District Attorney George Gascón said Friday that his office would be "working with law enforcement throughout the weekend," and the investigation could be presented to his office for consideration of charges "as early as
"My heart goes out to the families that lost loved ones in the horrific car collision that occurred [...] 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," Gascón tweeted Friday.
A California Highway Patrol statement said: "Preliminary investigation indicates Nicole Lorraine Linton was driving a dark-colored Mercedes, traveling southbound on La Brea Avenue at a high rate of speed.
"While driving the Mercedes, Linton proceeded through a red light and collided into multiple vehicles traveling eastbound and westbound on Slauson Avenue. As a result of this collision, multiple parties were ejected and two vehicles were fully engulfed in flames. Following the collision, involved parties were transported to (Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center) by ambulance and six individuals were declared deceased on scene," the CHP
The Los Angeles Times reported Linton is a traveling nurse from Texas, and KHOU-11 reported Aug. 6 that she is from Houston. A LinkedIn page for Nicole Lorraine Linton states she is a traveling nurse employed by a health care staffing agency, and has been working in the intensive care unit at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center.
Kaiser Permanente issued a statement Friday saying, "Everyone at Kaiser Permanente is deeply saddened by Thursday's horrific crash. It's impossible to imagine the pain those involved are experiencing. Our thoughts
are with everyone affected by this tragedy. At this time, we are not able to comment on what has been reported as a criminal investigation."
The pregnant woman who died in the crash was identified Aug. 5 by the coroner's office as Asherey Ryan, 23 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.
According to Ryan's family, the woman's 11-month-old son, Alonzo Quintero, was also killed, along with Ryan's boyfriend, who was the father of her unborn son. Ryan's boyfriend was driving the car that was struck, accord- ing to a video posted online by Ryan's sister, Shoshanna Kerr.
Kerr identified him as Reynold Lester, 24, of Los Angeles, who worked as a security guard.
In the video, Kerr said Ryan was 8 1/2 months pregnant, and she was on her way to a doctor's appointment when the crash occurred. The family was planning to name the unborn infant Armani Lester, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
"She left the house at 1:30. She woke me up" Kerr said. "She woke me up and told me she was going to go to her doctor's appointment, that she loved me and she'll be right back."
Kerr said 15 minutes later, she saw video of the car crash.
"And for some reason, as soon as I seen that video, it hit me. It felt different. I felt connected," Kerr said, adding
that she cried throughout the night.
"I didn't sleep one bit," she said. "I'm all cried out."
Shoshanna Kerr also told reporters that Ryan's family forgives the driver who caused the crash. "I just want to tell her that we forgive her," she said. "She will have to live with this for the rest of her life. That's why she was spared. We understand it already."
A GoFundMe page established on behalf of the family had raised more than $130,000 as of Sunday afternoon, Aug. 7.
On Friday and again on Saturday night, friends and family gathered at the crash site to remember and say goodbye to the victims. Lighted candles dotted a memorial near the site of the fiery crash. Saturday's gathering
included some LA County firefighters who were among the first to respond to the crash.
Dramatic surveillance video (URL above) from the scene Thursday showed the Mercedes plowing through the 35 mph zone on La Brea at a speed authorities estimate at 100 mph—speeding through a red light at Slauson and broad-siding a vehicle.
The crash ignited an inferno as the sedan struck by the Mercedes was pushed into at least one other vehicle, and both wound up against a gas station sign on the corner. A trail of fire was left burning in the intersection as the vehicles struck by the speeding driver were engulfed in flames.
CHP reports indicate eight vehicles, including Linton's, were involved in the collision. The heavily damaged Mercedes ended up near a bench down the street. The CHP reported a sixth victim was later found dead in the burned wreckage of one vehicle, but further information about that person has not been released.
Eight others were injured in the collision, including seven occupants of a Chevrolet Traverse. The 33-year-old driver, a 1-year-old boy and three teenagers suffered moderate injuries, while two other teens inside the vehicle
had only minor injuries.
The eighth victim—the 19-year-old driver of an Audi A3—also suffered minor injuries.
Program at work helping contractors secure public construction deals
LOS ANGELES (MNS)—A three-pronged Los Angeles regional program—consisting of the City of Los Angeles,
Los Angeles County Metro, and the County of Los Angeles —has been created to help small and diverse contractors in bidding and obtaining work on infrastructure develop- ment and other publicly funded construction projects.
The regional Contractor Development and Bonding Pro- gram will provide bonding assistance, contract financing,
Contractor development and bonding program establishes an "inclusionary program to build a stronger region"
technical support, education, training, and other services to under-represented businesses. The recent addition of a program at the County of Los Angeles has led to the creation of a new regional program website and to expanded outreach and supportive services in order to help contractors access billions of dollars in infra- structure work, a sector that will soon expand even more with the signing of the $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure investment plan late last year.
All three prongs are being administered by Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services, which has many years of experience working on public construction contracting and diversity, equity, and inclusion issues statewide.
"Los Angeles is a diverse region with so many talented business owners, and we need to use all their talents and optimize competition to have the greatest local economic impact of regional contracting dollars," said Ingrid Merriwether, CEO of Merriwether & Williams.
"We need to break down the barriers that have prevented many small and diverse groups from accessing public contracts. This program will help to create greater equity in regional public contracting. This is an inclusionary program to build a stronger region," she said.
Small and diverse businesses are encouraged to participate in the new Los Angeles regional Contractor Devel- opment and Bonding Program. To obtain more information, go online to the new regional program website LAConDev.com or call 213-258-3000.
The old Gerald Desmond Bridge has been retired, replaced by a new bridge (top). Courtesy, City of Long Beach
Port of Long Beach replaces
Gerald Desmond Bridge
LONG BEACH (CNS)—The Port of Long Beach held a retirement ceremony May 8, for the decommissioned Gerald Desmond Bridge, which will be demolished to allow better access to the port's Inner Harbor for large cargo vessels.
The 5,134-foot-long through-arch bridge was closed to traffic in October 2020, when a replacement bridge opened.
The demolition project has not been scheduled, but Saturday morning's retirement ceremony included Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Board of Harbor Commissioners Vice President Sharon Weissman, Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, Assemblyman Patrick O'Don-
nell, D-Long Beach, and Gerald Desmond Jr., who as an 18-year-old helped tighten the last bolt into place on the bridge named for his father—the late Long Beach City Attorney Gerald Desmond, who obtained tideland oil funds, which helped pay for the bridge.
"My father was dedicated to fighting for and preserving the rights and interests of the city of Long Beach and the Port of Long Beach," Desmond Jr. said. "Our family was deeply honored when the bridge was named for him,
and we were happy to honor him once again during the bridge retirement ceremony."
Garcia called the bridge "a landmark of our city and an important part of our region's infrastructure for over 50 years. We have come an incredible way since it opened in 1968 and it's played an important role in the growth
of Long Beach and success of the port."
The bridge opened in 1968.
"Gerald Desmond will always be remembered for securing the Tidelands oil funds that were needed to help pay for a bridge that helped the Port of Long Beach grow to where we are today," Cordero said. "We hope that this
retirement ceremony is a fitting tribute to his legacy and for the Desmond family as we look ahead to the next chapter for this port complex."
Funding for the demolition was included in the $1.57 billion budget to build the replacement bridge. The port awarded a contract for the project in July to Kiewit West Inc.