One of three boys who were struck by a driver allegedly high on drugs has died and officials on Monday have upgraded the man’s charge to vehicular homicide.
Isaiah Ward, 9, was taken off life support Sunday afternoon at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, according to the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office. His older brother, 11-year-old Roland, and the other injured child, 12-year-old Timothy Hood, remained in critical condition at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Ryan Lisabeth, 28, of Atlanta, remained in the Fulton County jail Monday after being denied bond in the death of Isaiah and the injuries of the two other boys. The incident happened Friday in northwest Atlanta.
The children were standing and talking on Mayson Turner Road near Joseph E. Boone Boulevard when a vehicle came at them at a high rate of speed, according to Atlanta police said. Lisabeth struck a passing truck on the rear as he was crossing the centerline, police spokeswoman Officer Kim Jones said.
The vehicle then veered off onto the sidewalk and hit the three children who were standing and talking on the sidewalk, Jones said. The three children landed in different directions, she said.
Investigators said Lisabeth attempted to get away from the scene when he hit a second vehicle before becoming disabled and coming to an uncontrolled stop. Lisabeth was arrested on multiple charges, including DUI, serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road and possession of a controlled substance, according to jail records.
His record also includes three DUI convictions, a cocaine-related conviction and an open DUI case for which he had not yet been sentenced. Lisabeth was in a treatment facility before the crash on Friday, according to the AJC. His attorney declined to comment about his case. Isaiah’s uncle, Freddie Smith, told Channel 2 Action News that he wanted to hurt Lisabeth.
“I wanted him to suffer,” Smith said, breaking the word into two, hard syllables. “SUF-FER.”
The neighborhood where the children were struck, Washington Park, has many longtime working-class residents but the area has become a haven for drug dealing and other crime, the AJC reported.
“It’s dangerous out here, really dangerous,” said Anthony Williams, a security guard at Bright Futures a private school on Joseph E. Boone Boulevard. “That’s what’s going on out here, ‘the business.’ Everybody’s out here doing all types of drugs.”
Williams said gunshots are common in the neighborhood, and crime is such a concern that the school’s campus is guarded 24-hours a day.
“We had a window get hit the other day,” Williams told the AJC, his gun holstered on his hip. “But I know at the end of the day, God has got his arm around us.”