Nicole Linton, the ICU nurse responsible for a car crash that killed six people in in Los Angeles earlier this month, apparently suffered a ‘frightening’ mental collapse in the days leading up to the tragedy.
According to documents obtained by the LA Times from Linton’s defense lawyers Halim Dhanidina and Jacqueline Sparagna, their client suffered an ‘apparent lapse of consciousness’ at the time of the crash. The nurse, 37, has also struggled with bipolar disorder for the last four years.
Linton allegedly sped her vehicle down La Brea Avenue toward the busy intersection at Slauson Avenue around 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 4. Authorities claim she was driving at least 90 mph when she went through a red light then barreled into passing traffic.
Five people died in the fiery crash, including a pregnant woman and a baby. Linton is being charged with six counts of murder by the Los Angeles district attorney. This includes the pregnant woman’s unborn child.
Linton has been in custody since the crash because prosecutors believe she is a flight risk as well as a danger to the community. “She has no recollection of the events that led to her collision,” doctor William Winter stated on Aug. 6.
Linton was treated by Winter at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
“The next thing she recalled was lying on the pavement and seeing that her car was on fire,” he continued. Winter said that Linton has bipolar disorder and that she suffered an “apparent lapse of consciousness” at the time of the crash. She has also been prescribed psychiatric medication in the past.
A year later, Linton was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward after a neighbor called her family when they saw Linton running around her apartment complex naked, the attorneys said.
“Ms. Linton would be most appropriately housed in a mental health treatment facility where she can be monitored and treated for her illness,” wrote her attorneys in the filing Monday.
Linton is accused by the district attorney of reckless disregard for life in connection with the multi-vehicle crash. She faces five manslaughter counts on top of the six murder counts.