Family of victims of Los Angeles accident ‘strongly opposes’ website in support of ICU nurse who killed six

Relatives of a young family killed instantly when traveling nurse Nicole Linton slammed her Mercedes-Benz into their vehicle are speaking out against a family website that sheds light on the driver’s mental illness and advocates for lighter charges.

Court documents show prosecutors say Linton “floored the accelerator and went from 122 mph to 130 mph” for at least the 5 seconds prior to the crash before swerving into traffic at an intersection in the Los Angeles suburb of Windsor Hills, causing two others cars explode. Asherey Ryan and boyfriend Armani Lester were on their way to a prenatal appointment with Ryan’s 11-month-old son Alonzo Quintero in the back seat. The family, including an unborn child and two other women, were killed.

Linton’s family launched a six-page website around September 19 devoted to her life story, her journey with mental illness and her connection to the crash. It’s stuffed with pictures of Nicole and her family. One of the pages outlines the difference between murder and manslaughter. Linton is awaiting trial in a psychiatric facility on murder and gross negligent homicide charges. Her attorney and family claim she was in the midst of a bipolar episode when she sped through the light.

Nicole Linton. (screen grab KHOH)

Ryan, Lester and Quintero’s family members said the website was “insensitive and anachronistic”.

“We are still struggling to grasp the magnitude of our loss. Every day was emotionally tough. The harm we have endured at the hands of the site appears to be quite intentional and we strongly disapprove of it,” Deandra Kittles said in a statement. “We will continue to get through this difficult time as a family and continue to seek justice for Asherey, Armani and Alonzo. We hope the other affected families do the same.”

The website, created by Nicole’s sister Camille Linton, includes a letter to “all those affected” on the landing page. Camille said the Aug. 4 crash was an “all-round tragedy.” She offered her “deepest condolences” to everyone who lost a loved one and acknowledged their pain.

“And while as a family we have unwaveringly supported Nicole, whom we love dearly, there is room in our hearts for the victims most directly affected by this case,” Camille wrote.

Camille wrote that she understands that the victims’ families are “rightfully angry, frustrated and afraid.” Still, she can relate to families like hers who are also feeling frustrated, anxious, and hopeless because of a family member’s mental illness.

Nicole’s defense attorney claims she had “an apparent impaired consciousness” at the time of the crash. Prosecutors allege the act was premeditated and Nicole was in control of the steering wheel, which kept her steady as she flew through the intersection.

Her family and attorneys said the intensive care nurse was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2018. They described various mantic episodes experienced by the family in the years, months, and days leading up to the incident. However, in a recent motion to place the driver in a health facility rather than keep her in jail, prosecutors said the attorneys failed to provide the court with medical evidence supporting her current diagnosis.

Camille said she recently learned her sister went into a catatonic state after her first erratic outburst, which led to an encounter with Texas police.

“All of a sudden it was like the lights went out and she was there, but it seemed like she couldn’t hear or interact with anyone around her,” the driver’s sister wrote. “The doctor who is currently examining her believes that these symptoms could indicate frontal lobe epilepsy, which often lasts around 30 seconds and can cause stiffness in the body and loss of consciousness. This is usually followed by amnesia, where the person has no memory of blacking out.”

Nicole’s family hopes the court will allow her to be tested for neurological and psychiatric conditions that could be causing these symptoms.

“This particular type of epilepsy is often overlooked by doctors because many of the symptoms can also indicate psychiatric problems. If she has a neurological condition in addition to or instead of her bipolar disorder, we want to be able to test her for it so that she can be treated appropriately and we can better understand what happened on August 4th,” Camille wrote. Family of victims of Los Angeles accident ‘strongly opposes’ website in support of ICU nurse who killed six

James Brien

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