The chances that Julia Campagna will relapse into
a psychotic state like the one that caused her to
plow through a border crossing last year are
"infintesimal," her Seattle
psychiatrist told a New Westminster court.
|Dr. Raymond Vath agreed with
other psychiatrists who have testified at the
Washington-state woman's trial -- that an
over-the-counter weight-loss drug triggered a
temporary psychosis last May 30.
Two lower Mainland women, Kimberly Brooks, 18,
and Monique Ishikawa, 19, died when their car was
struck from behind at the Peace Arch border
crossing by Campagna's vehicle.
Campagna, 28, has pleasded not guilty to two
counts of dangerous driving causing death. Both
the Crown and her defense lawyers agree she is
not criminally responsible for the accident, but
a judge now has to decide whether to hospitalize
Two Vancouver-area psychiatrists who examined
Campagna agreed her state was brought on by a
herbal weight-loss drug called Xenedrine, whose
main ingrediate is the stimulant ephedrine.
Campagna has no history of mental illness, even
though her mother and a sister both take
anti-psychotic medications, Vath said.
He said Campagna should avoid all stimulants,
although he doesn't believe she would ever abuse
"The biggest risk to her is that she could
be at a party and someone could slip something
into her glass of wine, because Julia would never
do that of her own volition."
Campagna hasn't driven since the accident. Her
mental health is being monitored by Vath, as well
as Washington-state bail officials.
She has shown no signs of mental illness and has
been off all medication for nearly one year, Vath
She took two tablets twice a day for five days,
stopping four days before the accident.
Ephedrine was linked to 50 deaths and even more
cases of psychosis in the United States last
year, he said.