Survivor recounts heroin-fueled crash that killed friend

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News is digging into the impact heroin is having in the community.

A child who survived a deadly crash that was fueled by heroin told his story for the first time.

Timothy Hood, then 13 years old, and his friends Roland and Isaiah Ward, who were 11 and 9 years old at the time, made a trip to the store one evening in April 2016.

“They asked me where I was going and I said I was about to go to the store and they asked if they could come with me,” Timothy said.

“He was just walking to the store for a pack of Kool-Aid,” his mother said.

Around the same time, Ryan Lisabeth, a long-time heroin addict, made a trip to his dealer in the Bluff. Police said Lisabeth shot up in his car and then drove up on a curb at 42 mph where he hit the three boys, killing Isaiah. Timothy and Roland were severely injured.

“When we got by the gate, he just stopped … and when we turned around he hit us. It was like boom,” Timothy said.“I wound up falling and when I closed my eyes I just heard people screaming and crying. In my head I’m like, ‘What just happened? Did he hit us?’ and everything just paused.”

Timothy and his mother spoke to Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne about the crash.

“When I ran up there, Timothy was wrapped around a pole and he didn’t have a pulse,” Teresa Lawrence said. “I went up screaming and I was like, ‘Who did this?’”

Timothy shared what he remembered right after the crash.


“I saw myself getting up and looking around and I didn’t see anybody, so I just closed my eyes and just stayed down and I tried to open them again, but I couldn’t so I gave up,” he said.

“I’m going to be honest, I thought that the world was ending right then and there. He was crumpled up. There was nothing I could do but pray and there was part of me saying he’s gone because everyone kept saying, ‘No pulse,’” Lawrence said.

Lisabeth’s attorney said her client doesn't remember much about the deadly crash.

“He remembers the very beginning of that drive and then he completely blacked out. Overdosed,” attorney Ashleigh Merchant said.

Timothy said he woke up in the hospital and didn’t know where he was.

“In the hospital, I was just lost. I didn’t know what happened. I woke up and I didn’t remember anything. I was wondering to myself, like, ‘Where am I?’ and I tried to talk, but my voice was gone,” he said.

Authorities say Timothy’s story highlights the grip heroin has on the region.

“This is a major problem that, unless we come together, is going to get worse,” Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said. “It happened to Timothy Hood. There is nothing that would keep it from happening to your kid as well.”

A transcript shows a prosecutor said Timothy was comatose for three to four weeks and suffered a broken pelvis and leg, vision and hearing problems and traumatic brain injury.

“Timothy’s got a long road ahead of him, but he’s here,” Lawrence said. “He’s a walking angel. When you pray to God, you have no limit on what He can do.”

Lisabeth pleaded guilty to several charges and is serving 30 years in prison.

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