Grace Ortiz can’t forget the screams after a speeding Mercedes slammed into her SUV and several other vehicles in Windsor Hills, California, sparking a fiery crash that killed six.
“My window was down and I kept hearing someone scream, ‘The baby, the baby,’ and I don’t know, I thought it was my baby,” Ortiz told KNBC. Her niece and five children were in the SUV with her, but an 11-month-old boy ejected from another vehicle died.
“I just can’t believe we are alive,” Ortiz told the station. “It was flames all over the place, bodies. I don’t wish that upon anybody.”
Nicole Linton, 37, a traveling nurse from Texas, faces charges including murder and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in the Aug. 4 crash, McClatchy News reported.
Security video shows the speeding Mercedes run a red light and slam into several vehicles, which explode in flames and skid into a nearby gas station, leaving a trail of fire.
Six people died, including a family going to a prenatal checkup for the mom, who was 8½ months pregnant, and eight were injured, McClatchy News reported.
Veronica Esquival, who told KTLA she was at the gas station when the crash took place, saw the pregnant woman’s 11-month-old son die.
“All of a sudden a baby literally flew from the middle of the intersection to the middle of the gas station, landed right on the floor in front of me,” Esquival told the station. “Somebody tried to resuscitate the baby, but the baby was gone.”
Jamarcus Robinson, who had stopped at a nearby gas station for a drink while on a run, also saw the child, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“We saw a baby,” he said. “There was a car seat in the street and a baby not too far out.”
The memory continues to haunt him, Robinson told the Los Angeles Times. “I could barely sleep at night,” he said.
Latricia Tucker, who witnessed the collision and fireball while stopped at the intersection, told KTTV her vehicle could have been among those hit had she not stopped for a salad.
“When I got out of my car, I (saw) people dead,” Tucker told KNBC. “Burnt up.”
Bystanders tried to rush to the aid of the dying and injured, but the flames were too intense.
“It’s just like a bomb,” onlooker Alphonso Word told KTLA.
“There was nothing we could have done,” Noel Senior, who works nearby, told the Los Angeles Times. “Nobody was going to come from the fire.”
Henry Sanchez, who works at a nearby gas station, told the Los Angeles Times he still hears the sound of the speeding car passing by before the collision.
“You hear the tires grinding,” Sanchez said. “The sound stuck with me.”
Windsor Hills is a neighborhood near Inglewood southwest of downtown Los Angeles.