A woman who crashed her car while suffering a stroke was ordered out of her vehicle at gunpoint by Washington police and handcuffed before jail staff mocked her as she lay helpless on the ground for hours. more than 24 hours.
Nicole McClure ultimately spent 17 days in the hospital after surgeons removed part of her head and is now suing Thurston County police for ignoring her symptoms after the March 2022 crash.
Dashcam video recorded State Trooper Jonathan Barnes hitting her against the hood of his car and demanding, “When was the last time you used meth?” When was the last time you used heroin?
‘I haven’t… I don’t,’ she pleaded, ‘I’m confused. I think I’m tired.’
She was vomiting and incontinent for more than a day in the county jail before a doctor examined her and she was eventually rushed in for emergency surgery.
Nicole McClure arrested at gunpoint after low-speed crash in Thurston County
The 40-year-old woman was taken from her car and handcuffed on the hood of a patrol car by police officer Jonathan Barnes, who accused her of having used drugs, but did not perform any tests on her.
In fact, McClure was suffering from a serious stroke that required emergency brain surgery.
“Nicole remembers being laughed at and told, ‘Have another chance,'” attorney Anne Vankirk said in a statement.
“If Nicole had received immediate medical attention, her condition would have been much easier to treat and the outcome much less serious.”
McClure, 40, had left work early suffering from a headache and dizziness when Barnes saw her driving too slowly and drifting out of her lane while trying to get to her home in Olympia.
She did not respond when Barnes tried to stop her and eventually crashed her car on a roundabout.
The officer pointed his gun at her and yelled at her as he approached the debris and she came out with her hands up.
He accused her of resisting after she did not respond to his demand that she drop the car keys she was clutching tightly in her hand.
“She’s trying to use these keys to stab,” he said on the tape.
“He’s trying to use these keys as a weapon.”
McClure spent 17 days in the hospital and her lawyers claim she was permanently disabled by the unnecessary delay in her treatment.
In his written report, the officer crossed out a section detailing medical questions with the comment “Did not ask.”
“Nicole remembers being laughed at and told, ‘Give yourself another chance,'” as she lay on the jail floor for more than 24 hours, attorney Anne Vankirk said in a statement.
Barnes, who won the ‘Core Values Award’ at her troop’s graduation ceremony in 2019, arrested her on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and felony evading, but did not test her for drugs or alcohol in the place and did not call the doctors, despite the accident.
In his written report, the officer also crossed out a section detailing medical questions with the comment “I didn’t ask.”
Instead, he took her to a nearby hospital, where he did not mention the accident, but where she had blood tests for alcohol and drugs that ultimately came back negative.
While in jail, pressure was building inside his brain due to a subdural hematoma in his frontal lobe.
“He was left in a noticeably deteriorated state and continued to call for help,” Vankirk said.
“She was found in a puddle of her own urine almost a day later.”
Two jail staff members then helped her onto a bed in the cell after realizing she couldn’t stand, and when she began “vomiting uncontrollably,” they moved her to a second cell and “changed her.” of clothes by force”.
“A few hours later, a member of the jail’s medical team was called and advised that she be taken to the hospital immediately,” the lawsuit states.
McClure underwent emergency brain surgery and had a large chunk of his skull cut out to relieve pressure on his brain and “save his remaining brain function.”
She spent almost three weeks in hospital and her lawyers claim the delay in her treatment left her permanently disabled.
“Nicole is a hard-working young woman who will never be the same,” Vankirk said.
“Although she was observed to be in a motor vehicle collision that incapacitated her, she was not offered any medical evaluation,” Vankirk said.
“She suffers a severe traumatic brain injury and remains unable to care for herself or cope with life in a meaningful way.”
The Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that it had been served with the lawsuit.
“While we cannot discuss the details of any pending litigation, I can confirm that the safety of inmates, staff and the general public remains a priority for the Thurston County Correctional Facility,” spokeswoman Tara Tsehlana said.