Grossman's daughter testifies Scott Erickson threatened her after she saw him hiding near fatal crash scene

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As deputies questioned Rebecca Grossman on the night of the crash that left two young brothers dead in Westlake Village, her then-lover was nearby, hiding behind a tree, Grossman’s daughter testified Friday.

Alexis Grossman told jurors that the man in question, former Dodgers pitcher Scott Erickson, showed up to the family’s home shortly thereafter. She said he smelled of alcohol, and threatened her and her family if she told investigators what she had seen.

“Why did your mom stop? Why did your mom stop?” she said Erickson told her. “He seemed very angry. He was frantic. I could smell alcohol on him. He was freaking out. I was scared.”

She said he gave her a warning: “Don’t tell anyone you saw me, or I will ruin you and your family.”

Alexis Grossman’s tearful testimony was presented to bolster the defense argument that Erickson — not her mother — was the first to hit Mark and Jacob Iskander as they made their way across a marked crosswalk on Triunfo Canyon Road on Sept. 29, 2020.

Erickson, 56, has denied any wrongdoing. He was initially charged with misdemeanor reckless driving after the crash, but that was dismissed after he made a public service announcement about the importance of safe driving.

Iskander boys

Mark and Jacob Iskander.

(Iskander Family)

Rebecca Grossman, 60, is charged with 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.

On the night of the crash, Alexis Grossman was heading to meet a pizza delivery person when she saw her mother’s Mercedes surrounded by police cars, she said.

“I ran out toward her. I was screaming, ‘Mommy, mommy,” she testified. But a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy blocked her path and told her she couldn’t approach.

It was then, as she turned away, she said, that she saw Erickson in some bushes behind a tree. Using a pointer, the 19-year-old showed the courtroom the area at 3701 Triunfo Canyon Road where she said she spotted him.

“He was poking his head out and we made eye contact,” she testified.

Authorities had told her to leave the scene, and so she did, she said — driving a short distance to her family’s home in Westlake Village. Shortly after she arrived, Erickson burst in, she testified.

During questioning, Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Ryan Gould asked why she had not told officers at the scene about Erickson.

“I wish I had because, if I had, we wouldn’t be here right now,” she replied.

Alexis Grossman said she told her parents — who were separated at the time of the crash — in 2021 what she had seen. She said her mother’s lawyer at the time advised her not to tell anyone.

That same year, Alexis Grossman met with prosecutors, and Gould asked her to recall what she had told him when asked whether Erickson had made it to the Westlake Village house that night. She replied that she believes she said no.

“I wasn’t trying to protect anyone,” she said between tears. “He was a big guy, a baseball player ... I was scared.”

As court adjourned, she and her mother hugged and sobbed.

Alexis Grossman’s testimony capped an emotional day in court, one that also saw her mother, in a candid and tearful exchange with a reporter, accuse prosecutors of not caring about getting to the bottom of what happened.

The brief remark came as the trial broke for lunch — shortly after prosecutors interrupted a line of questioning barred by pretrial motion under Section 402 of California’s evidence code, which excludes prejudicial evidence.

“If they were truth-seekers, why do they have so many 402 motions?” Rebecca Grossman asked a Times reporter who was in the audience.

Prosecutors have repeatedly accused Grossman’s lead attorney, Tony Buzbee, of trying to get in evidence barred before the trial began — often in testy exchanges with opposing counsel.

They objected again Friday when Gould asked the judge to stop Buzbee’s questioning of a defense collision expert.

Prosecutors allege that Grossman struck the 11- and 8-year-old boys while driving behind Erickson after the two had been having cocktails at a local restaurant.

Buzbee, however, has maintained from the outset of the trial that it was a Mercedes driven by Erickson — not his client’s vehicle — that first hit the brothers.

Cam Cope, a crash reconstructionist based in Texas, testified to that end Friday. Based on his analysis of the scene, Cope said, it was Erickson’s black Mercedes SUV that hit the boys — Mark being launched over his vehicle and onto the hood of Grossman’s white Mercedes, which was following behind.

Under that scenario, Cope said, there wouldn’t be anything the person in the second car could do.

“That is what the facts are in this case,” he said.

But Gould sought to discredit Cope’s analysis, citing previous testimony.

At the time of the crash, the boys’ mother Nancy Iskander said she was wearing inline skates as she began to cross Triunfo Canyon Road at Saddle Mountain Drive. Her youngest son, Zachary, was next to her on his scooter; with Mark, on a skateboard, and Jacob, wearing inline skates, ahead in the marked crosswalk.

Iskander testified she saw Erickson’s car go through the crosswalk and rescued her 5-year-old from its path before seeing her older boys vanish after Grossman’s vehicle went through.

Another witness, Susan Manners, testified she saw a child hit in the left lane. Two other witnesses, Yasamin Eftekhari and Jake Sands, also testified that Grossman hit a boy in the left lane.

Cope said none of the statements changed his conclusion that the black car initially hit the two boys.

Justin Shaw, an accident reconstruction expert testifying for the defense, said he, too, believes it was the black Mercedes that hit the boys first — though he acknowledged a lack of physical evidence.

When pressed by Gould, Shaw said the report he prepared for the case did not state Erickson’s vehicle hit the boys.

“Absent an inspection of the vehicle in front of the Grossman Mercedes, there is no way of knowing what vehicle struck the boys,” he said, adding that there is testimony suggesting the black Mercedes hit the boys first.

Shaw also said an examination of video shot 360 feet from the crosswalk showed Erickson was driving a 2016 Mercedes GL 63 AMG, not a 2007 Mercedes SUV as he told investigators. Shaw said he based that conclusion on the vehicle’s lights.

A white vehicle with a smashed hood and grille is parked alongside a road in the dark.

Rebecca Grossman’s Mercedes SUV is shown after the 2020 crash in the Westlake crosswalk.

(Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

He also disputed earlier testimony regarding how fast Grossman was traveling at the time of the crash — as well as “black box” data from her vehicle that showed she was speeding, at up to 81 mph, on the quiet residential street. Investigators have testified she was going 73 mph when she fatally struck the boys.

Based on his analysis, Shaw estimated she was going much slower, about 49 mph. Grossman also could not have floored the accelerator as indicated by the black box, he said, because if she had she would have been going much faster than the data show — meaning some element of the data is incorrect.

Shaw also said an L.A. County sheriff’s deputy who calculated the estimated vehicle speed based on Mark’s body being thrown 254 feet down the road was incorrect. Since the boy “was hit by another car after Mrs. Grossman,” he said, “the throw calculation is off.”

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