MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Shortly before the crash that killed University of South Alabama medical student Samantha Thomas, she and the doctor charged in her death were caught on surveillance video sharing drinks by a pool, a traffic homicide investigator testified on Wednesday.
Jonathan Nakhla was recently in court for a preliminary hearing, where the judge heard evidence from the state and determined there was probable cause to send the case to a grand jury.
At the hearing, the investigator testified there was surveillance video that showed Nakhla and Thomas drinking at the pool at the apartment complex where they both lived. The investigator said Nakhla told him he and Thomas were going to get ice cream from a fast food restaurant.
The investigator said surveillance video showed them leaving the complex at 12:36 a.m. The crash happened just minutes later at 12:41 a.m.
Prosecutors claim the data recorder from Nakhla’s luxury sports car captured him going 138 miles per hour on the West I-65 Service Road. Nakhla’s blood alcohol concentration was above the legal limit of .08, although the final toxicology results are still pending.
However, Nakhla’s defense has maintained there’s no proof yet that alcohol played a role in the crash, as well as the information from the data recorder being unreliable.
The investigator testified that Nakhla recalled unbuckling Thomas’ seat belt after the crash to try to provide medical aid, only to realize she was already dead. Once he was placed in an ambulance, first responders said Nakhla made comments about his car and his “very expensive” watch, not appearing to be sad about the death.
According to the testimony, he made a call inside the ambulance and could be heard saying, “I know, baby, you loved that car.”
Nakhla was fired from his position as a neurosurgeon at Mobile Infirmary after he was charged with manslaughter. The father of Samantha Thomas filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging Nakhla’s reckless behavior caused the deadly crash.
Nakhla remains free on $200,000 bond.