A Maui woman who was acquitted of murder by reason of insanity for causing a fatal crash in 2016 is now suing the hospital that discharged her a day before.

On Oct. 8, 2016, Ashley Wellman drove more than 120 miles per hour on Haleakala Highway through a red light, killing Debi Wylie, 63, and Traci Winegarner, 57.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday on her behalf alleges that Kaiser Permanente’s Wailuku facility improperly discharged Wellman after she sought psychological treatment and medical assistance for depression and suicidal thoughts a day before the crash.

Wellman was acquitted of murder charges after doctors testified that she was physically and mentally impaired at the time of the crash, and was sent to be confined to the Hawaii State Hospital on Oahu.

Fence runs along some of the Hawaii State Hospital's bordering area with the Windward Community College campus. The fence ended on the Kahaluu side along where the road met up with the road that runs thru Windward Community College.
A Maui woman who was being considered for conditional release from the Hawaii State Hospital is suing Kaiser Permanente on allegations the Maui hospital improperly discharged her before she caused a fatal car crash. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2017

Earlier this summer, Wellman was set to be released from Hawaii State Hospital on the condition she would receive 24-hour intensive case management and attend mental health treatment, according to Maui News.  This lawsuit was filed the same day a judge had set a court date to review her transition to the transitional living program.

Kaiser Permanente spokeswoman Laura Lott told Civil Beat the hospital would not comment on ongoing litigation.

A Civil Beat analysis of Honolulu Police Department data last year found hundreds of Hawaii patients who seek emergency treatment for mental illness are often repeatedly hospitalized or come into cyclical contact with law enforcement.

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