Final 2 victims in Windsor Hills crash identified by family, friends: 'I'm broken'

Los Angeles, CA, Tuesday, August 9, 2022 - Friends and family gather at the Diamond Z Salon in memory of employee Nathesia Lewis who was one of five people killed in a car wreck earlier this week. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Friends and family gather at the Diamond Z Salon at a memorial for Nathesia Lewis and Lynette Noble, who were killed in a multi-vehicle crash in Windsor Hills on Aug. 4. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The last two people killed in the Windsor Hills crash have been identified by friends and family of the women.

While their names have not been released by the Los Angeles County medical examiner, those who know Nathesia Lewis and Lynette Noble say the women were among those killed in the Aug. 4 multi-vehicle crash.

Five people died in the fiery collision, including 23-year-old Asherey Ryan; her 11-month-old child, Alonzo Quintero; and her boyfriend, Reynold Lester. Ryan was 8½ months pregnant when she was killed. The boy she was carrying at the time was named Armani Lester, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. His date of birth and date of death fell on the same day.

Lewis, 42, and Noble, 38, were traveling together in the same car that was struck during the violent crash.

Prosecutors say Nicole Linton, 37, a traveling nurse working in Los Angeles, was speeding 90 mph when she blew through a light at the intersection that had been red for nine seconds. Linton's Mercedes-Benz sedan struck several cars, authorities said.

Noble and Lewis were in a vehicle that burst into flames, family members said. Their bodies were so badly burned that investigators are having a difficult time identifying them, according to friends and family, who said personal items found at the scene belonged to the women, including Noble's identification.

A spokesperson with the L.A. County coroner's office said the remaining victims' identities are pending positive identification. The California Highway Patrol initially said the cars burned in the fire were so badly damaged their makes and models were not immediately clear.

Still, friends and family are positive it was Noble's Nissan that burned in the crash.

Nathesia Lewis' sister, Krystal Lewis, 36, said her sister was a mother to seven children and grew up in South L.A.

"She loved unconditionally," her sister said at a vigil on West 55th Street, about three miles east of the crash site. "It's devastating. Like, everybody feels bad because it was so unexpected. When I saw the crash, I didn't think that it was anybody I knew."

Lewis' boyfriend, graffiti artist Clarence "Moezart" Hamlin, and artist Laurence "Stroe One" Hendrickson painted a mural honoring her on the side of her sister's hair salon. The men painted her portrait by cellphone lights in the dark, and on Tuesday, friends lit candles and reminisced about her and Noble.

"She was just so loving and caring," Hamlin said. "Everyone knows that she would have done anything for a stranger or someone in the community. Maybe she was that way because her mother died when she was young."

Hamlin did not realize Lewis had died until a few days after the crash. She didn't come home that day, and he kept calling her and their friends. No one knew where she was, and all their calls went straight to voicemail. But everyone in the neighborhood seemed to know about the crash and asked him about it.

He said he's started to lose focus.

"I have friends who have been coming by to just talk to me and get my mind off of things and trying to make me laugh," Hamlin said. "But when they're gone, I'm left alone by myself. And it hurts, and I'm broken."

A few days after Hamlin realized Lewis was dead, he thought he saw her walking down the street at night. He started to chase after the image, but when he got close, there was no one there.

Noble's family lives outside California, including some who are in Belize, but she grew up in Los Angeles County, the product of the foster youth system, friends said.

She liked to crochet and made various articles of clothing for friends and sold other pieces.

Known as "Lady Red," Noble liked to dance and was full of goofy energy, her close friend, Nea Irby, said. The two met in South Los Angeles when Irby was 14. Most recently, Noble took a job as an in-home support service worker. Irby went with her to buy medical scrubs and shoes for her new job.

"She was so excited," Irby said. "She was literally a jack of all trades."

Irby, Noble and Lewis were running errands together the day of the crash, but in separate cars. Irby reflects on that because she usually traveled around town with Noble. She said she passed by Slauson and La Brea about 15 minutes before the crash. As she came back to the intersection, she saw the flames and smoke.

"In my head, I'm trying to figure out what's going on," Irby said. "I'm pretty much face to face with this fire, and I can see the car burning."

She wasn't sure what to make of the wreck, but there was a gnawing feeling that bothered her.

"If I would have known it was Lynette, I would have turned my car around and went back to stay right there until they put out the fire. It's been bothering me. I just have this vision in my head of this car on fire and to have found out that it was her is hard," Irby said. "I just thought it was a tragic accident. I'm just like, 'I'll pray for the families.' Never did I know that I should have included Lynette in my prayers as well."

Irby's family has started a GoFundMe account to pay for Noble's funeral. The Lewis family also started its own fundraising campaign to pay for funeral services.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.