Rebecca Grossman’s motion to dismiss her murder case was denied by a Van Nuys Court Judge September 7, 2021. Grossman was ordered to stand trial for the deaths of Mark (11) and Jacob (8) Iskander on May 5, 2021. She allegedly hit the two boys on the crosswalk and then proceeded to flee the scene September 2020.
At-Fault Driver DENIED
At the May hearing, Superior Court Judge Shellie Samuels pointed out that she will not dismiss the murder charges. She believes that the at-fault driver, Grossman, “went well beyond gross negligence.” The wrongful death accident case was then moved to Superior Court Judge Joseph Brandolino, who dismissed Grossman’s motion to have all murder charges dismissed.
The mother of the boys spoke to FOX 11 news outside of the Van Nuys Court, “We miss the boys every day… They haven’t been in their beds and I’m here in court.”
Why The Judge Denied The Dismissal Request
Simply put, Judge Brandolino believed that there was possibly enough evidence to prove the elements of murder. Moreover, there was not enough evidence to dismiss the case beyond a reasonable doubt on the murder charges.
The at-fault driver clearly drove in a careless and reckless manner. According to the Deputy District Attorney’s filing, Grossman was driving between 73 – 81 mph seconds before the collision.
Prosecutors claim that Grossman was driving at excessive speeds along Triunfo Canyon Road in Westlake Village, Ca. She hit the boys while they were crossing the street with their mother.
Sheriff’s officials said that the mother attempted to reach out to protect the children when hearing a speeding car coming toward them. However, the two boys were already too far out in the intersection before getting hit. The eleven-year-old boy died on the scene and his eight-year-old brother died in the hospital.
The Drunk At-Fault Driver with a History of Speeding
After striking the boys in a drunk driving accident, Grossman continued driving her vehicle until her car engine stopped running about a quarter mile away from the scene. Grossman, the at-fault driver, claimed that she did not know if she hit anyone and continued driving along the road until the car’s airbag exploded. She knew she hit something but was unaware of exactly what she hit.
Before this 2020 car accident, Grossman already had a history of speeding. On two separate occasions (May 2020 and March 2013), she received tickets while driving well over the speed limit. In 2013, she was driving 92 mph on the 101 freeway and was told by a CHP officer that “her speed could kill someone.”
Grossman’s blood-alcohol level the night she struck the boys was 0.08%. This amount of alcohol in a person’s body while driving is unlawful. Grossman was arrested for the murder and the wrongful death of the boys that night but was released on bond October 1, 2020.
Grossman will likely be charged several million dollars and face 34 years to life if convicted as charged.
When Is The Civil Trial?
Once the criminal trial has concluded, the civil wrongful death case will begin. In that case, it will be determined how much money Grossman will have to pay the family of these young boys.
Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress Claim
In addition to the young boys’ wrongful death claim, Ms. Iskander will also have her own claim for Negligence Infliction of Emotional Distress. Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress occurs when a family member witnesses another family member injured in an accident caused by someone else. Since Ms. Iskander witnessed this horrific accident, she will be entitled to those damages as well.
Punitive damages will likely be awarded since this goes beyond a mere accident. Grossman intentionally chose to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel. As a result, her intent is said to “transfer” to the accident itself. Thus, a jury can treat this claim as if Grossman intentionally hit the young boys when considering damages for the family.
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Our hearts go out to the family of these young boys.
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