Grossman Burn Foundation co-founder arrested in Westlake Village crash that killed 2 boys in front of parents

Local news

A co-founder and chair of the Grossman Burn Foundation has been arrested after two boys were fatally struck in front of their parents in Westlake Village Tuesday night, officials said.

Rebecca Grossman, 57, has been booked on suspicion of two counts of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Her bail is set at $2 million.

The scene of a fatal crash in Westlake Village is cordoned off on Sept. 29, 2020. (KTLA)
The scene of a fatal crash in Westlake Village is cordoned off on Sept. 29, 2020. (KTLA)

The crash occurred about 7:10 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of Triunfo Canyon Road and Saddle Mountain Drive, officials said in an earlier news release.

The boys were crossing the street when they were struck by the vehicle.

One was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other was taken to a hospital and died a few hours later, officials said in an updated post.

The 11 and 9-year-old victims have not been identified, but officials said they were brothers.

A preliminary investigation revealed that a family of six was walking in the area when the suspect vehicle sped through the intersection at the marked crosswalk. Authorities said two other children were pulled to safety, but the boys were struck, “right in front of the parents.”

A child’s helmet and a scooter were seen on the street at the site of the crash, and on Wednesday, flowers had been left near the intersection.

The white Mercedes involved in the crash sustained major damage to its front end, a photo released by authorities showed.

Grossman may have left the scene after the crash, sheriff’s Capt. Salvador Becerra said.

Officials confirmed Wednesday that an arrest had been made and that the suspect is the wife of Peter Grossman, a prominent plastic and reconstructive surgeon and president of the Grossman Burn Foundation at West Hills Hospital.

The couple have two children and live outside of Los Angeles, according to her biography on the nonprofit organization’s website. The undated biography indicates the children are 11 and 13 years old.

Rebecca Grossman is described as having “worked extensively in the healthcare field for over two decades as a researcher, journalist, and marketing executive,” and she became chair of the foundation in 2006, according to the website.

Becerra called the incident a “horrible tragedy.”

Similarly, Sgt. Travis Kelly said that since alcohol was involved, the incident did not have to happen.

“This could have been avoided, this entire, horrible incident,” he said.

Residents who were at the scene Tuesday night told KTLA that speeding is a problem in the area.

“The speed limit is about 45, but they drive 50, 55 mph. Every time we want to pass this crosswalk, we have to stop for the cars.” Karlo Ohanian said. “It’s a very dangerous cross section.”

Anyone with information about the incident can call the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station at 818-878-1808.

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