Photo: Getty Images
  /  08.31.2022

Court documents made public yesterday (Aug. 30) suggest Houston travel nurse Nicole Linton may have suffered a mental breakdown just before the fiery Los Angeles car crash that killed five people plus an unborn baby. As previously reported by REVOLT, the devastating collision happened at a gas station at Slauson and South La Brea on Aug. 4.

According to court records obtained by The Los Angeles Times, Linton struggled with bipolar disorder for at least four years before the crash. Documents add that the nurse suffered an “apparent lapse of consciousness” during the deadly collision. Authorities say Linton was traveling at nearly 90 mph when she collided with several other unsuspecting drivers after running a red light. She was charged with six counts of murder, including the unborn child.

On Aug. 6, Dr. William Winter evaluated Linton at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. In his notes, he wrote, “She has no recollection of the events that led to her collision.” Winter added, “The next thing she recalled was lying on the pavement and seeing that her car was on fire.” In a letter to the court, the nurse’s sister, Camille Linton, shared that Nicole’s first mental breakdown was observed in May 2018. Camille claims it was while Nicole was studying to become a nurse anesthetist at the University of Texas in Houston.

“The stress was too much for her and it ‘broke’ her. Thus beginning the journey of Nicole’s four-year struggle with mental illness,” Camille wrote. In May 2018, there was a documented incident of a mental breakdown that involved police officers. Officers were called to her apartment during a panic attack. Nicole ran from the police, jumped on their car and was arrested for disorderly conduct. Days later, she told her family that she was possessed by her deceased grandmother.

Documents add that during another incident, the nurse banged her head into glass at Ben Taub psychiatric hospital while angrily shouting about the United States Supreme Court. Linton required stitches in her forehead. A year later, a neighbor saw her running through her apartment complex naked and alerted her family. Linton’s family had her involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward.

Linton’s lawyers argued, “In the days and hours leading up to the events of Aug. 4, Nicole’s behavior became increasingly frightening.” The lawyers added, “[Nicole] told her sister that she was flying out to meet her in Houston the next day so she could do her niece’s hair. She also said that she would be getting married and that her sister should meet her at the altar.”

Yesterday, Linton’s attorneys Halim Dhanidina and Jacqueline Sparagna said they believe their client should be “housed in a mental health treatment facility where she can be monitored and treated for her illness.” The nurse has been in jail since the Aug. 4 deadly crash.

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