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Mercedes driver involved in 13 prior wrecks before crash that killed 5, DA says

Richard Winton, Nathan Solis and Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES — The nurse accused of killing five people last week when her Mercedes plowed into traffic at a busy Windsor Hills intersection had been involved in 13 previous crashes, Los Angeles County prosecutors alleged Monday in charging her with murder.

Authorities revealed new details about Thursday’s crash and about the driver, Nicole Lorraine Linton, 37, whose permanent address is in Texas and who is currently renting a room in Los Angeles while working as a traveling registered nurse.

Prosecutors said they are reviewing multiple previous crashes linked to Linton — both in and out of California — including one in 2020 that involved bodily injury in which two cars were totaled. They provided few additional details, however.

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

Here’s what we know:

The crash

 

Surveillance video just before Thursday’s deadly crash shows a dark-colored Mercedes barreling down La Brea Avenue at high speed as dozens of cars cross on Slauson Avenue in Windsor Hills. Prosecutors say Linton was behind the wheel.

The Mercedes does not appear to slow before running a red light shortly after 1:30 p.m. and slamming into cars in the intersection. The car bursts into flames and hurtles into a light pole, where it comes to rest. After the crash, a streak of fire burned on the ground, and billowing smoke could be seen from miles away.

Prosecutors say Linton was speeding as fast as 90 mph.

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

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