It took the family members of one of the victims in the fiery high-speed crash that killed six people days to identify her body because she was so disfigured, reports show.
Nathesia Lewis, 42, was traveling with a friend, Lynette Noble, 38, when a traveling nurse, Nicole Linton, crashed into their car at 90 mph at a busy intersection in Los Angeles, according to reports. Lewis’ injuries were so severe she had to be identified through DNA.
Linton reportedly blew through a red light on Aug. 4 causing the explosion and pileup that also killed Asherey Ryan, her 11-month-old son, Alonzo Quintero, her boyfriend, Reynold Lester, and the couple’s unborn baby. Lewis and Noble’s vehicle burst into flames because of the impact. Linton escaped with a broken wrist and foot, reports show.
Lewis leaves behind six children ranging from 2 to 23 years old and one grandchild.
“Me and my family, we looked at the news like everybody else,” Jasmond Nelson, Lewis’ sister, told KABC-TV. “We prayed for the children, for the pregnant lady, for her family, but unbeknownst to us, my sister and our family was a severe victim as well.”
Linton is currently being held without bond and is facing up to 90 years in prison for six counts of murder and five counts of manslaughter. The nurse’s attorney said she has a history of mental health illness.
Reports show she caused over 13 other car accidents, but her legal team disputes the claims. Sources allege Linton had just had an argument with her boyfriend when she plowed through traffic near downtown Los Angeles. Authorities say there is no evidence that alcohol or drugs were involved.
Relatives of Noble, the second of the last two victims identified, described her as kind, gentle and loyal. Her father, Linwood Noble, is battling cancer at a veterans hospital in Memphis, Lynette’s aunt, Shelia Noble, wrote on a fundraising website.
“Despite the difficulties in her life, Lynette made the most of every situation,” Sheila Noble wrote.
Linton’s friends and coworkers are reportedly shocked by her actions. According to reports, she was a respected nurse based in Houston who worked in other parts of Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina before being placed in California. Linton was an intensive care nurse who cared for the most vulnerable patients.
Many described her as a “sweet, intelligent” girl who made the dean’s list at Howard University.
“This is completely out of left field. I am absolutely shocked,” said Linton’s college mate, who did not want to be identified. “I was gut-wrenched. … I saw her picture on a blog, and I honestly thought she was one of the victims.”
However, another source close to Linton told Daily Mail, they were not surprised by the nurse’s actions. Linton’s friend said she changed after her former boyfriend died in a motorcycle crash about five years ago.
Linton reportedly planned to marry Olympic medalist Germaine Mason before he died in a tragic accident in Jamaica in 2017.
“I wondered when I saw what had happened if she was trying to take her life the way her ex lost his,” the friend told Daily Mail.
However, Mason was reportedly expecting his second child with another woman when he died. Reports also show Linton dated other athletes before Mason, gaining access to them through her earlier years working as a waitress in strip clubs in New York, where she grew up.
Linton’s friend said she would often spiral after relationships and lash out at men, but Mike Diaz, manager of Sin City, a Bronx strip club where Linton worked before becoming a nurse, said she was always “professional and cordial.”
While authorities try to piece together all of the details of the crash, the victims’ families are calling for Linton to face the full consequences of her actions.
Ryan’s son, Alonzo, was one month away from his first birthday. His mother and Lester were on their way to a prenatal appointment when Linton drive through traffic in her Mercedes-Benz, killing them.
“A young family was destroyed in the blink of an eye,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said.
Ryan’s family is trying to make sense of the quadruple blow.
“I don’t have nothing to say to her. I hope she feels every bit of pain she’s caused everybody,” Ryan’s sister Cotie Davis said.