In May 2008, a film crew was shadowing police and expecting to see a routine call on the M6 Motorway in London. Instead, the crew of the reality show “Motorway Cops” was stunned by the bizarre situation that would play out before their cameras when they arrived to see two women, Sabina and Ursula Eriksson, dashing into oncoming traffic.
The Swedish twins had reunited only hours before the strange event. From the moment they were together they started behaving strangely, and embarked on a spontaneous trip to Liverpool. The sisters were kicked off a tour bus when they refused to check their bags and began acting suspiciously. It was then that they decided to take a shortcut across the busy freeway.
CCTV cameras capture the images of Sabina and Ursula creeping into the frame, hopping over the guard rail and running into the road without hesitation. Panic and chaos ensue as cars attempt to swerve out of the way to avoid the women; however, the sisters were unable to escape the fenders of the speeding cars.
Police and paramedics soon came and as they assessed the situation, it became progressively worse. As police stood with the twins on the side of the road, Ursula suddenly dashed back out into traffic as an officer tried his best to stop her. She managed to get out of his grip and was struck by a car. She suffered serious injuries to her legs.
Seconds later, Sabina followed in her sister’s footsteps and darted out into traffic too. Her body slammed into an oncoming car, rolled up the hood and flung into the air before smashing back onto the ground with a thud. The sound of screeching tires and screams rang in the wind as Sabina got right back up, rushed to the center median, and jumped back out into traffic again.
Surprisingly, both twins survived the incident and were taken to a hospital for treatment and evaluation—but not without putting up a fight. The duo fought police and paramedics, insisting someone was trying to take their organs, and shouted at the individuals who were trying to help them.
Doctors couldn’t explain why the twins persistently ran into oncoming traffic, but some believed Sabina and Ursula had experienced a shared psychosis. The psychological disorder begins in the mind of one individual whose delusions are transmitted into another person.
Following the shared psychotic episode, Ursula was hospitalized in a mental facility for three months. Sabina on the other hand, was released back into society shortly after. Within hours of her release, she would murder a man.
Sabina was strolling down the street, still experiencing delusions, when she encountered two men. One of the men, Glenn Hollinshead, felt sorry for Sabina and wanted to help. He invited her to stay at his place, and even aided her in her search for her sister. The following day, Sabina stabbed Hollinshead five times and killed him.
The mentally unfit woman fled the scene with a hammer, and began striking herself in the head with it. Paramedics chased Sabina through the neighborhood and watched in horror as she leapt from a bridge. Miraculously, she survived the fall and was hospitalized.
Immediately following her hospitalization, she was charged with murder. She was sentenced to five years in prison. Hollinshead’s brother Gary blamed police for failing his brother by releasing Sabina out into society so quickly.
He told media, “Her mental condition should have been properly assessed after what she did on the motorway and the experiences the police had. Her mental disorder should have been picked up prior to her being let out in to the community.”
No one really knows what happened with Sabina and Ursula that day on the motorway. The close bond the pair shared led to a shared mental breakdown that ended tragically. The Eriksson’s relationship is comparable to the relationship of the Silent Twins, who shared an unhealthy co-dependency until death.
A BBC documentary MADNESS IN THE FAST LANE was made on the Eriksson sisters, and featured the unsettling footage of their dance with death on the motorway. You can view a clip from the documentary below, but be warned, the video is disturbing to watch.