Driver Says She Had A Mental Collapse At The Wheel In Fire-Filled Crash

Lawyers for the ICU nurse who killed 6 people after speeding through a red light in Los Angeles last month claim that in the days leading up to the crash, she had suffered from a mental collapse. 

In court filings obtained by the Los Angeles Times last week, Nicole Linton’s defense recounted her diminishing mental state in the lead-up to the fiery crash that killed a pregnant mother, her year-old son, and four others. 

The defense argued that Linton, who is being held without bail on six counts of murder, doesn’t have any memory of the incident. Her lawyers describe her as a woman who, over the last four years, rapidly lost her sanity.  

According to the filing, Linton was diagnosed as bipolar in 2018. Her lawyers claim that her deteriorating mental state was due to her refusal to stay on her medication during the COVID lockdowns after an online therapist told Linton that she wasn’t bipolar but only suffered from anxiety. 

By the August 4 crash, her lawyers claim, Linton’s condition had devolved to a “frightening” point, noting that just hours before the incident, she Facetimed her sister while completely nude.  

According to her lawyers, in 2019 Linton was transferred to Ben Taub psychiatric hospital after she suffered a head wound requiring stitches from banging her head into a glass partition while ranting about the Supreme Court and the police. While hospitalized, her lawyers wrote, an increasingly unstable Linton sang Bob Marley songs.  

Her lawyers argued that under California law, “mental incapacitation and unconsciousness” are a valid defense against crimes.  

Nicole Linton, a traveling nurse from Houston, was driving nearly 90 mph when she ran a stoplight on August 4 and struck at least five other cars, setting three of them on fire. 

Last Wednesday, Linton appeared in court where the judge decided to postpone the hearing until September 12 to give prosecutors time to respond to her attorneys’ bail motion.  

She remains at the Twin Towers Correction Facility in downtown Los Angeles under a “no bail” hold.