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Woman faces murder charges following crash that killed two boys in Westlake Village

Rebecca Grossman and Dr. Peter Grossman
Rebecca Grossman, left, has been charged with murder. At right, Dr. Peter Grossman in this 2017 photo.
(Rebecca Sapp / Getty Images for Haven Hills)

A Hidden Hills woman faces murder charges for running over two boys in Westlake Village in September and then fleeing the scene of the crash, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The Los Angeles district attorney’s office said it has charged Rebecca Grossman — the 57-year-old co-founder of the Grossman Burn Foundation — with two felony counts each of murder and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. She also faces one felony count of hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Pamela Johnson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said that Grossman pleaded not guilty to the charges and that bail was set at $2 million. Grossman posted bail following her arraignment Wednesday, Johnson said.

Grossman’s attorney did not immediately return a request for comment.

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Prosecutors allege that on Sept. 29, Grossman drove at excessive speeds on Triunfo Canyon Road in Westlake Village, striking and killing Mark, 11, and Jacob Iskander, 8, who were crossing the street that evening in a marked crosswalk with their parents.

After hitting the boys, prosecutors said, Grossman continued driving until stopping about a quarter mile from the crash scene.

Following the crash, L.A. County Sheriff’s Department officials said that six family members were crossing the three-way intersection — which does not have a stoplight — when the mother heard a car speeding toward them. Both parents reached out to stop their children, but the two boys were too far into the intersection.

One boy died at the scene while the other child was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after the crash.

Video from the accident showed a scooter in the street, a helmet and rollerblades on a sidewalk near the crash site and a white Mercedes with front-end damage.

The Grossman Burn Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Grossman Burn Centers Inc., which treats burn victims around the world. Grossman has accrued numerous honors for her work in human rights, domestic violence prevention and other humanitarian efforts, including the American Heart Assn.'s “Woman of the Year” award in 2007, according to the foundation’s website.

If convicted on all charges, Grossman faces a possible maximum sentence of 34 years to life in state prison.

Times staff writer Faith E. Pinho contributed to this report.


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