Alabama prosecutors said during a bond hearing that a mobile neurosurgeon may have been driving at speeds in excess of 130 mph for a crash that killed a medical student who was a passenger in his car.
Dr. Jonathan Nakhla, 36, has been charged with manslaughter as a result of the accident that occurred on I-65 Service Road in Mobile in the early hours of August 1.
Police say Nakhla was behind the wheel of his powerful Audi convertible while 24-year-old medical student Samantha Alison Thomas was driving the car as a passenger.
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Dr. Jonathan Nakhla, 36 (left), of Mobile, Alabama, has been charged with manslaughter in a crash that killed Samantha Thomas, 24 (right)
Nakhla was reportedly driving at speeds in excess of 130 mph on the morning of August 1 when he swerved to avoid hitting another vehicle
Nakhla’s powerful Audi rolled over and ended up in a ditch at this Econo Lodge
During Nakhla’s hearing on Wednesday, prosecutors said the neurosurgeon had driven in a zone of 45 mph before swerving to avoid another vehicle, causing his car to tip over and end up in a ditch near the Econo Lodge Hotel. Al.com.
Nakhla is a married father of two and a neurosurgeon who works at Mobile Infirmary
Thomas was pronounced dead on the spot from her injuries.
Nakhla was taken to hospital to be treated for injuries that were not life-threatening. He was booked into Mobile County Metro Jail Monday.
Dennis Knizley, one of Nakhla’s attorneys, opposed the prosecution’s story that his client had been driving too fast, arguing that the data from the car’s ‘black box’ was unreliable because his Audi had flipped.
“Event data recorders record the speed of the revolving tape and as they said in court today, the car turned over,” Knizley said. Fox 10 TV. “Once the tire is out of contact with the road, it no longer indicates the speed of the car, but the tire … so you know how fast the tire is moving.”
Nakhla’s lawyer said he drove an Audio R8 Spyder (similar to the one in the photo), which can go from 0 to 100 km / h in less than 4 seconds.
Police have said that Nakhla was driving under the influence and had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit of 0.08 in Alabama, but he has not been charged with a DUI so far.
Prosecutors from the Mobile County DA office said they are awaiting final toxicology results, said WKRG.
Nakhla’s lawyer said he believes the neurosurgeon, who works at Mobile Infirmary, drove an Audi R8 Spyder, a luxury car that can go from 0 to 100 km / h in less than 4 seconds. Spyder models from 2020 start at over $ 182,000.
Knizley described Thomas, a third-year student at the University of South Alabama Medical School, as a family friend of the surgeon, who is a married father of two.
At the time of the accident, Nakhla reportedly lived in the same building as Thomas.
His wife was present at the hearing on Wednesday and was seen crying in court.
Thomas was a third-year medical student at the University of South Alabama (photo left with her sister, Jennifer)
Nakhla’s lawyer said Thomas, 24, was a family friend, was the married doctor
A judge set Nakhla’s bond at $ 200,000, ordered him to surrender his passport, and forbade him to leave the state without permission.
Nakhla posted a bond in the afternoon and was released from prison. He must appear in court again on September 2.
If convicted of manslaughter, the 36-year-old doctor could face 20 years in prison. He’s been suspended from the hospital.
Thomas is survived by her parents and sister, Jennifer. The family plans to start a scholarship in its name in partnership with the University of South Alabama.