VAN NUYS – A lawyer for former Major League baseball player Scott Erickson vehemently denied Monday that his client drove recklessly or was in any way responsible for an accident in Westlake Village that killed two boys in September.
“He didn’t go. He is charged with reckless driving. He didn’t drive recklessly. He really had nothing to do with this accident and every suggestion he made is just wrong, ”Attorney Mark Werksman told City News Service.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office last Wednesday charged Erickson with a reckless driving offense and found a March 16 indictment in Van Nuys.
The indictment was included in a standalone criminal complaint rather than as part of a trial against Rebecca Grossman, 57, of Hidden Hills, who was charged in December with two crimes of murder and manslaughter with gross negligence and one offense of hit-and-run driving with death.
Prosecutors allege Grossman – the wife of the director of the Grossman Burn Center in West Hills – was driving at excessive speed on Triunfo Canyon Road on September 29 when she hit 11-year-old Mark Iskander and his 8-year-old brother. Jacob as they crossed the street with their parents on a marked zebra crossing on Saddle Mountain Drive.
Initial media reports on the indictment against 52-year-old Erickson said he was accused of driving with Grossman, but neither Erickson nor Grossman are charged with a street race.
Erickson’s attorney said his client safely passed the intersection before the crash even occurred.
“He did not witness the accident or was not involved in causing it or playing any role in it,” said Werksman.
The former MLB pitcher knows Grossman and has worked fully with law enforcement officials, according to his defense attorney.
“If the prosecutor or the sheriff thought he was driving Rebecca Grossman when she beat these children, he would be a co-defendant with her … he would have been charged in connection with the accident himself,” Werksman said.
The prosecutor’s office did not immediately respond when asked if prosecutors or investigators ever claimed that Erickson was in the running. The criminal complaint includes only the single count of reckless driving on a motorway, citing the section of the Criminal Code on willful or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property, but does not mention victims.
Grossman pleaded not guilty of all charges on December 30 and is due to return to court on February 16, when a date is set for a preliminary hearing to see if there is enough evidence to go to trial.
According to prosecutors, she could live in state prison for a maximum of 34 years if convicted as a defendant.
Sheriff’s officers said six family members were crossing the three-way intersection – which has no traffic lights – on the zebra crossing when the mother heard a car coming towards them and both parents tried to protect two of their children, but the two boys it was too far out at the intersection and got hit.
The older boy died on the scene and his 8-year-old sibling died in a hospital.
Grossman reportedly continued driving after beating the boys and eventually stopped about a quarter of a mile from the scene when their car engine stopped running, according to prosecutors.
Grossman was arrested by sheriff deputies on the day of the crash and subsequently released on bail on October 1. She remains free in custody – with one of the conditions on her bail that prevents her from driving, according to prosecutors.
The defendant’s husband, Dr. Peter Grossman, is the son of the eventual founder of the Grossman Burn Center, A. Richard Grossman. She is the co-founder and chair of the Grossman Burn Foundation and the past editor of Westlake Magazine.
Erickson played 15 seasons in major leagues and made his debut in 1990. He played for six teams, including the Dodgers in 2005. He was a member of the 1991 World Championship team for the Minnesota Twins and threw a no-hitter for the Twins against the Milwaukee Brewers in April 1994 .