Jailhouse phone calls reveal aftermath of deadly heroin-fueled crash

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News is hearing what happened in the moments and days after a crash that killed one child and injured two others.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne obtained jailhouse phone calls between Ryan Lisabeth and his friends and family.

"You just brutally hurt three little boys," Lisabeth's mother said to him in one call.

Lisabeth is serving 30 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a list of charges stemming from a deadly crash last year.

Lisabeth shot heroin while in his car, overdosed, jumped a curb and hit three children on Joseph E. Boone Boulevard in April 2016. One child, 9-year-old Isaiah Ward, was killed. Isaiah’s brother, Roland, and their friend Timothy Hood were severely injured.

“Do you understand that this kid may not make it?” Lisabeth’s mother asked in a call shortly after the crash. “He’s on life support and the parents are deciding whether to pull life support. He’s 9 years old, Ryan.”

“I did not know that,” Lisabeth responded.

Lisabeth’s attorney said he has tried to beat his heroin addiction many times.

“He has been to more rehab facilities than I can count,” attorney Ashleigh Merchant said.


Merchant said days after he was arrested, Lisabeth expressed that he was sorry for his actions.

“I’m trying to seek forgiveness for what happened. I just hope that I can still make something of my life. I just hope that I have time to do that,” Lisabeth said in a jailhouse call.

“You know what it’s never too late, ever,” Lisabeth’s mother said.

“That’s why I’m still here,” he responded.

Merchant believes that Lisabeth truly is sorry for what happened.

“I know people get mad when you are sorry for yourself, but he’s sorry for everything,” she said.

Winne obtained more calls from May 2016 between Lisabeth and a male acquaintance.

“I bought $25 worth of dope and I did half of it. I did nothing, really. Nothing like I would usually do, man,” Lisabeth said. “I guess the mixture of withdrawing and not sleeping for a week it just knocked me out.”