Police: Driver injected heroin minutes before fatal crash in Atlanta

ATLANTA — The man accused of hitting three children with his car is also accused of injecting heroin 14 minutes before it happened.

Channel 2 exclusive video shows a distraught Ryan Lisabeth in the back of an ambulance the night of the incident. %



He is now facing a murder charge.

A quick look at Lisabeth’s criminal records show’s he’s a repeat offender and Fulton County's district attorney told Channel 2’s Erica Byfield that got his attention.

“What people are wondering is why isn't the court system doing something about that person?” said Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard.

Howard said he has those thoughts, too.

Atlanta police charged Lisabeth with murder in mid-April after they said he lost control of his car on Joseph E. Boone Blvd. near Mayson Turner Road,

Two of the children survived. Isaiah Ward, 9, died. %



“He had everything to live for. He had people who loved him,” said Jennifer Tommer, Isaiah's aunt.

A newly released police report provides insight into what happened that day. An officer wrote Lisabeth injected heroin at 6:45 p.m. and crashed at 6:59 p.m.

Isaiah's father is still trying to make sense of the tragedy.

Channel 2’s Rikki Klaus told Laotis Smith about the newly released police report that indicates heroin usage just 14 minutes before the crash.

He told Klaus in a previous interview that he hopes Lisabeth gets the death penalty.

"Why? My son was 9-years-old. I don't understand that," Smith said

Why is one of many questions about the crash Smith has about the crash that killed his son, Isaiah, and injured his other son Roland.

“That's a part of me that I thought wasn't never going to leave me," Smith told Klaus. "Only thing that just keep popping in my mind is he knew what he was doing. He knew what he was doing."

Smith said when he sleeps, he sees Isaiah with a basketball in his hand, ready to play with his dad.

"I have dreams about my son," Smith said. "So when I jump up I'm expecting to see him laying down beside me, sleep. He's not there."

Smith shared photos of the family, from the day they buried Isaiah last week. Smith told Klaus he felt Isaiah was trying to send him a message.

"Like he was just trying to tell me, ‘Dad, I'm in a better place.’ But it's more to this," Smith said.

And that's where Smith's questions come in.

He said he will be in court if this case goes to trial, and that could help provide a little closure.

Howard called the accident troubling.

“And then you look at that defendant's record and you discover he's a repeat offender,” Howard said.

Records show Lisabeth has a history of drug trouble in Fulton County. Through the years, judges mandated he get treatment.

During Lisabeth's most recent court appearance, Channel 2 Action News learned he was living in a treatment facility at the time of the accident.

Howard told Byfield it may be time to ensure repeat offenders get time behind bars.

“Why are they out in the community, being allowed to cause this kind of harm and destruction?” Howard said.

Lisabeth is facing several other charges in addition to murder.