Horrific crash leaves 5 dead, 8 hurt in Windsor Hills as speeding Mercedes slams into cars

A pregnant woman who died in a fiery, high-speed crash that killed five in the Windsor Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles was identified Friday, authorities said.

Asherey Ryan, 23, was the woman killed in Thursday’s crash, according to the Los Angeles County coroner and law enforcement sources. It was not immediately known what car she was in or how she was involved in the crash.

The release of the name comes as the California Highway Patrol continues to investigate the cause of the crash. The names of the four others who died have not been released.

A woman interviewed by KTLA-TV Channel 5 said that the woman driving the Mercedes-Benz that caused the crash had been in a fight with her boyfriend and was drunk when she hit the gas and shot down La Brea Avenue into the intersection with Slauson Avenue, slamming into numerous cars.

Eight people were also injured in the crash. The L.A. County Fire Department responded to the crash just after 1:40 p.m.

Surveillance video of the crash shows a Mercedes-Benz barreling down La Brea at a high speed as dozens of cars cross the intersection on Slauson. The Mercedes runs a red light and slams into cars in the intersection, then bursts into flames and hurtles into a light pole, where it comes to rest.

After the crash, a streak of fire burns on the ground.

Smoke could be seen billowing from miles away.

Officer Franco Pepi, a California Highway Patrol spokesperson, said Thursday afternoon that three adults, including a pregnant woman, and an infant were killed in the crash.

Authorities later found another person’s remains inside one of the burned vehicles, he said. That person’s gender or age weren’t known Thursday night.

The pregnant woman also lost her unborn child, which the CHP was counting as an additional fatality “due to rare circumstances,” Pepi said.

A Windsor Hills intersection turned fiery in a Thursday multi-vehicle collision.

Authorities took eight people to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for treatment, he said. Of those injured, six were teens and one suffered major injuries.

Officers stand near burned vehicles and debris.

An investigation is underway after a fiery multi-car crash left five dead, including a pregnant woman and an infant.

(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

A woman who did not want to be named told The Times a Mercedes-Benz hit her car as she was leaving a United Oil gas station.

“I was getting out, had got gas,” she said. “All of a sudden that Mercedes is coming at me on … fire. I didn’t have any time to think about it. It hit my car. I veered, hit the bench on the side.”

The crash caused her to fear a gasoline-fueled explosion, she told The Times.

Nearby, the wrecked Mercedes-Benz with a smashed hood had crashed into a curb.

Investigators believe the driver of the Mercedes-Benz was responsible for the crash, Pepi said.

People lean on a fence, looking at a crash scene.

Area residents check the scene of the fatal crash.

(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, but the CHP spokesperson said investigators determined the Mercedes was traveling “at a high rate of speed” and ran a red light while traveling southbound on La Brea.

The driver has been identified only as a female adult, Pepi said.

The woman was hospitalized but was conscious and speaking with CHP investigators Thursday night, he said, adding that he did not know the extent of her injuries.

At least six vehicles were involved in the crash, three of which were engulfed in flames, Pepi said. The others sustained moderate damage.

First responders comfort each other at the scene of a crash.

Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department embrace at the scene of the multi-fatality crash.

(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Witnesses described a horrific scene.

“It looked like the whole intersection from corner to corner was on fire,” Harper Washington told KABC-TV Channel 7. “A lot of sparks and electricity. I was under the impression that, really at first I thought they dropped a bomb on us. … Once the fire went away and the booming left, I realized it was two cars there. You could see the people on fire and that’s just sad. I really pray for the people and the community.”

Veronica Esquival told KTLA that a baby came to rest in the intersection. “One of the workers came and saw me with the baby and took the baby out of my hands. Somebody tried to resuscitate the baby, but the baby was gone,” she said.

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