Fulton County

Patient testifies medical transport van driver dropped his phone before deadly Atlanta crash

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The trial is underway, for the teenage medical transport driver, John Walker, who reportedly caused a deadly crash on Campbellton Road on March 20th, 2023.

It was Walker’s first time transporting a patient – at his new job.

On Thursday, attorneys selected the jury, got through opening statements and five of the state’s witnesses took the stand.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

So far, the star witness is Sara Simpson, the patient who was riding in the back of the van.

“It was very very traumatic for me. Mentally I would not even look at the accident report,” said Simpson.

Simpson was heading back home after Walker transported her to a dialysis appointment.

He never made it to her house, and she says it’s all because Walker was fiddling around with his cell phone while driving.

Crash investigators say he was going 20 miles over the speed limit when he hit a curb and veered into oncoming traffic.

“I heard him say, ‘Damn I dropped my phone,’ and his voice was going down as if he was leaning over to pick it up. We went up on a curb, I know now it to be a curb. But that side of the ambulance went up, and it came back down BOOM. I could feel my body going up in the air, and coming down,” Simpson said.


The crash killed paramedic Ti’quita Miles, who was in the back of the van caring for Simpson. The other driver, Jada Whatley, also died.

“It bothers me that someone sitting that close to me was taken and at such a young age,” Simpson said in court.

Prosecutors showed jurors police body cam video that showed Walker saying, he never changed lanes. He said Whatley must have veered into his lane. But crash investigators determined that Walker was the one who veered over into oncoming traffic.

His attorney didn’t give an opening statement and didn’t cross-examine any of the five witnesses.

“In a time that your client goes to trial, you either have to have the facts on your side or the law on your side. The facts are not on our side and that’s undisputed, but the law is on our side and that’s what I’ll be bringing out tomorrow. I’ll tell the judge he’s obligated to dismiss this case,” said The Fly Lawyer (formerly known as Jackie Patterson).

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]