Nicole Lorraine Linton: Nurse who caused horrifying LA crash worked at SIX hospitals despite 'PROFOUND' mental health issues
Warning: This article contains disturbing footage that could be traumatic for some readers. Discretion is advised.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: ICU nurse Nicole L Linton, 37, from Texas has been charged with six counts of murder and five counts of vehicular manslaughter after a 100mph car crash in Windsor Hills, Los Angeles, killed a pregnant mother, her unborn child, one-year-old son and four others. Surprisingly, Linton held six nursing jobs across five states in the last two years despite being said to have been suffering from severe mental health problems.
Linton's motive for the horrific crash remains unclear. However, her attorney told a judge that she has a 'profound history' of mental health problems, which should have stopped her from driving the car. She was not even fit to work inside an ICU facility to treat critically ill patients.
Linton, who was working at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, had been sent there by AMN Healthcare. AMN Healthcare is a travel nursing company that sends skilled contractors to where their services are most required. AMN Healthcare refused to comment on how Linton was assessed and what kind of background checks were performed when she was given a job with them, the Daily Mail reported. "At this time, we are not able to comment on an active criminal investigation. Any further questions should be forwarded to law enforcement authorities," a spokesman said, refusing to comment on her backround checks.
Kaiser Permanente, where Linton was working, blamed AMN. "Everyone at Kaiser Permanente is deeply saddened by last Thursday’s horrific crash. It’s impossible to imagine the pain those involved are experiencing. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy," the facility said. "Ms. Nicole Lorraine Linton is not employed by Kaiser Permanente, rather is a nurse employed by AMN Healthcare and contracted out to work at Kaiser Permanente on a temporary basis. She was not traveling for Kaiser Permanente at the time of the accident."
Linton started studying to obtain her nurse's license back in 2010, before which she worked as a sales manager for General Motors. There are no open complaints against her and neither are there any violations listed by California's Department of Consumer Affairs. She has a valid California nursing license.
Linton worked in both North Carolina and Maryland in 2020. She has worked between Atlanta and Los Angeles since October 2020. Prosecutors said in court that she was involved in 13 vehicle accidents in Texas and California. One crash in Texas took place in 2013 and the other in 2016, among the other crashes. In both cases, it was determined that she was not at fault as another driver rear-ended her car. The 2013 crash occurred after Linton failed to move after the lights turned green, and one person had to be taken to the hospital after the incident.
The horrific LA crash that killed six people
The recent fiery crash was caught on surveillance camera, showing a Mercedes speeding into the frame at full velocity as cross traffic on Slauson moved west through the intersection. The Mercedes subsequently slammed into multiple vehicles, prompting a fire. The vehicles were seen still skidding through the intersection, coming to a halt in front of a gas station.
At least six vehicles were involved in the crash and the impact of the crash caused at least three of them to burst into flames. Witnesses described how there was a terrifying loud noise at the time of the crash, which was followed by fire and sparking electricity. Thick plumes of smoke were seen drifting into the sky before firefighters arrived. Pregnant Asherey Ryan, 23, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her one-year-old child Alonzo Luchiano Quintero and her unborn baby boy also died as a result of the crash. The unborn child's father, Renald, was killed too. Asherey, Renald and Alonzo were going to see a doctor for a pregnancy check-up when the accident took place.
Linton, who works in Los Angeles, was charged on Monday, August 8, over the crash that also left eight people injured, besides the ones who died. She could face up to 90 years in prison if convicted as charged. LA County DA George Gascón has confirmed that there is no evidence to suggest that Linton was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. She is being held at the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood, California on a $9 million bond after being discharged from the hospital on Sunday, August 7.