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Houston nurse accused in deadly LA car crash that killed 5

A Houston woman accused of killing five, plus an unborn baby, was driving 130 miles per hour when she slammed into multiple vehicles, court records state.

The Los Angeles Superior Court judge of the case ruled Monday the driver who caused the crash, Nicole Linton, will not be permitted to be placed in a psychiatric hospital instead of jail, as requested by the defense. Mental illness looks to be a contributing factor in the crash, according to the defense.

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Here’s what we know about the case so far: 

What happened during the crash? 

Nicole Linton is accused of driving her Mercedes-Benz through a red light Aug. 4 and into an intersection in the Windsor Hills Los Angeles neighborhood. The Mercedes- was traveling at 130 mph before hitting other cars, catching fire and crashing into a pole.

Among those killed were 23-year-old Asherey Ryan; her 11-month-old son, Alonzo Quintero; and fiance Reynold Lester. Ryan was 8½ months pregnant and on her way to a prenatal appointment. 

Friends Nathesia Lewis, 43, and Lynette Noble, 38, were also killed in the crash.  

Others suffered minor injuries. 

Who is the driver?

Linton, a 37-year-old nurse from Houston, has a history of bipolar disorder. 

In 2018, Linton got a citation for disorderly conduct when she jumped into a police squad car during a panic attack, Los Angeles Times reported. She was committed to a psychiatric unit and prescribed medication for her bipolar disorder. 

That was the year her family became aware of her mental health issues, the LA Times reported. 

Nicole Linton appears in Los Angeles Superior Court for arraignment on murder charges stemming from a traffic accident, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Los Angeles. Linton, suspected of causing a fiery crash that killed five people and an 8 1/2-month-old fetus near Los Angeles, has been charged with murder, as well as vehicular manslaughter, and is being held on $9 million bail. (Frederick M. Brown/Daily via AP, Pool)Frederick M. Brown/AP

Linton studied nursing at the University of Texas in Houston and was working at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center as a traveling nurse.  

According to her attorneys, when the COVID-19 pandemic began, Linton began refusing to take her medication, causing her mental health to worsen.

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On the day of the crash, Linton was allegedly FaceTiming her family, naked, during a lunch break. She had been stressed by work and family problems and hadn’t slept for days leading up to the crash, Linton shared with prosecutors. 

Prosecutors said Linton has been in at least 13 car crashes. Two of the crashes occurred in Texas and were minor fender benders, according to Texas Department of Transportation accident reports. 

Prosecutors said they also have records of three prior speeding violations. 

Who are the LA crash victims? 

All of the deceased crash victims have respective GoFundMe pages created for them. As of Sept. 14, the total donations on all of the pages reached $211,670. 

According to the GoFundMe post for Ryan and her family, the unborn child was named Armani. 

Asherey Ryan and her 11-month-old son, Alonzo Quintero were killed in the crash. Ryan was 8½ months pregnant. 

Asherey Ryan and her 11-month-old son, Alonzo Quintero were killed in the crash. Ryan was 8½ months pregnant. 


Ryan was the oldest of her two sisters, and went by “Rey-Rey,” LA Times reported. She was born in Los Angeles and raised in Inglewood. 

Lester’s brother created a GoFundMe

A GoFundMe for Reynold Lester. 

A GoFundMe for Reynold Lester. 


According to the post, Lester was excited to become a dad to the baby Ryan was carrying. 

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“Growing up Reynold (Lester) was the most intelligent person I knew, always getting good grades, always tucked away under his covers reading all of the latest Percy Jackson books,” the post read. 

Lester had grown up in foster care with his brother. 

Lewis’s sister created a GoFundMe after the crash to benefit Lewis’s children. 

A GoFundMe for Nathesia Lewis, 43. 

A GoFundMe for Nathesia Lewis, 43. 


She had six children — ranging in age from 2 to twenty-three. She also had one 1-year-old grandchild.  

“She has brothers and sisters, aunts, childhood friends that loved her,” the GoFundMe page read. 

Lewis’s boyfriend, a graffiti artist, painted a mural honoring her on the side of her sister’s hair salon, LA Times reported.

A friend created a GoFundMe page for Noble. The page refers to her as “Lady Red,” a nickname. 

A GoFundMe for Lynette Noble, 38. 

A GoFundMe for Lynette Noble, 38. 


According to the page, Noble had no known family in California. Noble’s family is Belizean and was planning to visit Belize soon. She has one sister, who she was close to. 

“Lynette (Noble) was a nice girl and enjoyed crocheting. She was loved by her many friends,” the post read.

Both GoFundMe pages for Lewis and Noble mentioned their bodies were severely burned in the crash, making them difficult to identify. They had been in the same car when the crash occurred.

What charges is Nicole Linton facing? 

Linton has been charged with the murder of six people — including Ryan’s unborn baby. She is also charged with five counts of vehicular manslaughter. 

If convicted, she faces up to 90 years in prison or a life sentence. 

Prosecutors from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion opposing bail reduction.

Linton has been denied bail and has been in jail since the crash.

Her lawyers argued she lost consciousness at the wheel. The prosecution said Linton’s emergency room doctors did not note signs of impairment that would have signaled a loss of consciousness while driving.