A Los Angeles County district attorney charged a traveling nurse from Houston, Texas, with six counts of murder and five counts gross vehicular manslaughter Monday after she allegedly caused a horrifying crash last week.
Nicole Linton appeared in Los Angeles County District court to hear the charges brought against her, according to CBS LA:
Eight vehicles in total, including Linton’s, were involved in the crash. Linton’s Mercedes ended up near a bench down the street.
Two other women who died in the crash have yet to be identified, according to Gascón. The occupants of six other vehicles, including five in an SUV and another driver in another vehicle, were also injured.
“While the wreckage of this fiery crash at this intersection was removed and traffic eventually resume, there is catastrophic damage to the families and friends of those killed and injured,” Gascón said. “It is not only a tremendous loss to the families but our entire community who learned of this incredible tragedy or have watched the now viral video of the collision.”
Police arrested Linton while she was still in the hospital being treated for minor injuries following the crash. Security cameras caught Linton traveling at approximately 90 miles per hour in her Mercedes-Benz when she ran a red light at the intersection of La Brea and Slauson avenues in the LA neighborhood of Windsor Hills.
The multi-car crash led to a fireball which consumed at least two other cars in a gas station parking lot. An infant child and his 8-months-pregnant mother were among those killed. Eight people were also injured.
“The conduct was so egregious that, based on that conduct, we can imply there was malice,” District Attorney George Gascón said during a press conference.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating the case to see whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash. Some media have reported that Linton was drinking before the incident, but these claims have yet to be confirmed by authorities. While no evidence of driving under the influence currently exist, CHP pointed to 13 previous car crashes involving Linton as proof she understood the risks of her behavior, according to the Los Angeles Times. CHP is also extracting driving data from Linton’s Mercedes to assist with the investigation. Linton’s car hit a light pole head on after hitting vehicles in cross traffic, but she escaped with only a broken foot and wrist.
Linton’s attorney asked the court to continue her arrangement into October as he investigates her “documented profound mental health issues,” according to the Times:
Dhanidina did not elaborate on Linton’s mental health but said the Windsor Hills crash could be linked to those factors.
“She should have been aware of her limitations” before she got behind the wheel, the judge said in denying Linton’s bail. A hearing on the matter was set for Aug. 15.
If convicted she faces 90 years to life in prison. Linton’s attorney asked the court for $300,000 bail. Bail was previously set at $9 million, but Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Natalie Stone denied all bail at the Monday hearing citing Linton as a flight risk.