Psychiatrist assesses McSkillet's manic behavior before McLaren crash on I-805

Posted at 6:51 PM, Oct 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-12 22:56:51-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Psychiatrist Clark Smith, MD, shed light on the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s findings in Trevor Heitmann’s autopsy that revealed the 18-year old suffered from mania.

Heitmann caused the fiery 805 crash on August 23 that ended not only his own life but the lives of Aileen, 43, and Aryana Pizarro, 12.

The Medical Examiner’s report showed Heitmann died of blunt force injuries. Toxicology reports indicated there were no signs of drugs or alcohol in Heitmann’s system. 

So what led an otherwise healthy 18-year-old man to drive the wrong way at 100 mph? The Medical Examiner believed there was a long build-up to the crash. The reports stated, five days before the crash, Heitmann began showing signs of mania.

"The manic mood swing could be so powerful, that people lose contact with reality,” Dr. Smith said.

Dr. Smith reviewed the autopsy reports with 10News. Although Heitmann had no history of depression or mental illness, Dr. Smith believed he might have been bipolar with manic tendencies. 

"The mood swing can change like that from being king of the world, on top of everything, to crashing, and being horribly depressed and suicidal,” Dr. Smith said. “My guess is he was feeling badly because of the setbacks that he had, losing his business and source of income. And that would be a time when he would be reactive and become more depressed.”

Heitmann was a popular YouTube gamer with a successful business selling game pieces online. That was how he said he bought his high-end sports car. But earlier this year, his business was suddenly banned and shut down. The Medical Examiner said his parents noticed his mood changes and tried to get him help. They physically blocked his McLaren from leaving the driveway, and called authorities to report his behavior. But Dr. Smith believes at that point, Heitmann’s symptoms had progressed too far. 

“Most people who are suicidal, just take their own life, but some people are also homicidal,” Dr. Smith said. “And in this case, it's a murder-suicide. I think he had lethal intention. He didn't know who he was going to kill. But he knew he was going to kill someone."

Dr. Smith said this was a true tragedy that was preventable. 

“This was treatable, and it’s just a heartbreak that he didn’t get treatment,” Dr. Smith said. 

He added bipolar manic depression is nothing to be ashamed of. If detected early, it is treatable.