Economy

Luxury Life to Life in Prison: The Untold Story of Rebecca Grossman’s Tragic Hit-and-Run

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Rebecca Grossman, co-founder of the Grossman Burn Foundation, received a 15-year-to-life prison sentence on Monday for the devastating hit-and-run deaths of two young brothers. The tragic incident, which took place over three years ago, has left a lasting scar on the Los Angeles-area community of Westlake Village.

On the evening of September 29, 2020, Grossman was speeding when she struck and killed Mark Iskander, 11, and his brother Jacob, 8, as they crossed the street. This incident, occurring in a matter of seconds, has since become a symbol of the catastrophic consequences of reckless driving.

A sign shows an image of Mark Iskander, 11, left, and his brother Jacob Iskander, 8, outside Van Nuys court on April 25, 2022.Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file

“The loss of these two innocent lives has devastated their family and our community,” said Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón. “Ms. Grossman’s blatant disregard for human life is a stark reminder of the grave consequences of irresponsible behavior behind the wheel.”

In February, a jury convicted Grossman on multiple counts, including two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and one count of hit-and-run driving resulting in death. Despite the severity of her actions, prosecutors’ push for a 34-year-to-life sentence was not fulfilled.

The case also involved Scott Erickson, a former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and Grossman’s companion at the time. Erickson was driving ahead of Grossman when the incident occurred but was not charged in connection with the tragedy.

Rebecca Grossman, left, and her daughter walk to Van Nuys court on Feb. 14.Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file

A Mother’s Grief and a Defendant’s Denial

During Monday’s emotional sentencing, Nancy Iskander, the boys’ mother, confronted Grossman, expressing profound sorrow and disappointment over Grossman’s apparent lack of remorse. “I have not seen any sign of remorse from her for killing my two boys,” she lamented, as reported by NBC Los Angeles.

Grossman, now 60, maintained her innocence in a letter to the judge. “I am not a murderer,” she wrote. “As God is my witness, I did not see anyone or anything in the road. I swear to you, I would have driven my car into a tree to avoid hitting two little boys.”

Rebecca Grossman, center, walks with her family into Van Nuys court in Los Angeles County for the verdict on Feb. 23.Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file

Rebecca Grossman, alongside her husband Dr. Peter H. Grossman, co-founded the Grossman Burn Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to burn care and prevention. This foundation is an extension of the Grossman Burn Centers, initially established by Dr. A. Richard Grossman, Peter Grossman’s father.

Allen Castellano, chief of the county sheriff’s North Patrol Division, expressed hope that the sentence would provide some solace to the grieving family. “This individual showed a complete disregard for the lives and safety of others in our community through her reckless actions, which ultimately shattered a family and robbed two children of their bright futures,” he said.

As the community grapples with the aftermath of this tragedy, the memory of Mark and Jacob Iskander remains a poignant reminder of the fragile nature of life and the enduring impact of one individual’s choices on many.

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