The Los Angeles County coroner’s office on Thursday released the names of two young brothers who died after authorities said they were struck by a suspected impaired driver in Westlake Village.
Jacob Iskander, 8, and Mark Iskander, 11, were crossing the street at the intersection of Triunfo Canyon Road and Saddle Mountain Drive around 7:10 p.m. Tuesday when the deadly collision occurred.
The preliminary investigation revealed that a family of six were walking in a marked crosswalk when a vehicle sped through the intersection and hit the boys “right in front of the parents,” L.A. County Sheriff’s Department officials said.
The mother was able to get her two youngest children — including a daughter in a stroller — out of harms way, but she couldn’t get to the older boys in time, according to Mirette Fouad, who is friends with the victims’ family.
“Violet is the one in the stroller, and she pushed the third child before the car hits him. And the older two, which are Mark and Jacob, are the ones she couldn’t,” Fouad told KTLA.
One of the brothers was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other died hours later at a hospital.
“It’s very devastating. It’s a nice family going for a hike, and they go home without two of them,” Fouad said. “So sad.”
Mark Iskander was a sixth grader at Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, while Jacob Iskander attended Ascension Lutheran School in Thousand Oaks.
The boys’ deaths prompted an outpouring of love and sympathy in their community. A makeshift memorial of candles and flowers was placed at the crash site and continued to grow Wednesday night as dozens of mourners gathered there to pay their respects.
“They were sweet little boys,” said Fouad, whose son was friends with them. “Most of them are deacons, they’re serving in the church, attending Sunday school. They were like two angels.”
Authorities arrested 57-year-old Rebecca Grossman after the crash. She was booked on suspicion of two counts of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence, according to sheriff’s Capt. Salvador Becerra.
“We believe speed is a factor. Alcohol is a factor. And part of the investigation revealed that she may have left the scene,” he said.
The agency did not release a booking photo.
Grossman’s bail was set at $2 million, but inmate records Thursday morning showed it had been posted. She was released shortly after midnight, the jail records indicated.
The suspect is the wife of Dr. Peter Grossman, a prominent plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Los Angeles who is the president of the Grossman Burn Foundation at West Hills Hospital. Rebecca Grossman is the foundation’s co-founder and chair.
The collision remains under investigation, and anyone with information is urged to call the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station at 818-878-1808.