Rebecca Grossman is the co-founder of the Los Angeles-based Grossman Burn Foundation who was arrested on September 29 after police say she hit and killed two young brothers while driving under the influence.
The 57-year-old was arrested Tuesday night on two counts of vehicular manslaughter in connection to the Westlake Village, California, crash, which killed an 11-year-old boy and his 9-year-old brother, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and CBS Los Angeles.
The brothers were crossing an intersection with their family around 7 p.m. when they were hit by Grossman in her white Mercedes, LASD and the station continued.
Police said the burn center co-founder, who they believe was driving under the influence, fled the scene of the crash, CBS Los Angeles reported. According to ABC7, police are also investigating if Grossman was street racing another car before the crash.
Grossman was held on a $2 million bail, officials disclosed on the LASD Facebook page.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Grossman Is the Co-Founder of the Grossman Burn Foundation
According to the Grossman Burn Foundation’s website, Rebecca Grossman co-founded the entity with her husband, Medical Director of Grossman Burn Centers Peter Grossman.
GBF is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Los Angeles County that seeks to provide “burn prevention education and self-sustainable burn treatment communities,” according to its website:
Signature projects include helping to open the first highly specialized reconstructive surgery and burn center in Kabul, Afghanistan, publishing a Humanitarian Assistance manual for worldwide distribution, developing a Triage Training Program for physicians in developing countries and Project Faith, an ongoing program to support the needs of burn survivors as well as their Stop Violence Against Women globally campaign. Faith Wanjugo, the inspiration behind the Project Faith program and was one of the patients GBF brought here from Kenya, Africa for reconstructive surgery after suffering a severe burn injury.
Rebecca Grossman was named chair of the foundation in 2006.
2. Grossman Is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Westlake Magazine, West Luxury Magazine & Paragon Healthy Lifestyles Magazine
Grossman is the publisher and editor-in-chief of the “west coast luxury publications” Westlake Magazine, West Luxury Magazine and Paragon Healthy Lifestyles Magazine, according to her bio on the GBF website.
She has also “worked extensively in the healthcare field for over two decades as a researcher, journalist, and marketing executive,” the site claims. “She owned and operated a medical marketing business, Medi-Marketing and Associates, and later founded Advanced Laser Specialist, Inc.”
Grossman had a prior stint as a guest host on a weekly morning news segment for ABC7 Eyewitness News called “Stop The Clock,” according to the site.
3. Grossman & Her Husband Are Involved in a ‘Number’ of Charity Organizations
Grossman and her husband are involved in a “number of charitable organizations,” according to the GBF website.
The couple received the Baha’i Human Rights Award in 2003, while Rebecca Grossman was honored by the American Heart Association as Woman of the Year four years later, the foundation site says.
In 2009, the Bayat Foundation honored Rebecca and Peter Grossman with the Humanitarian and Leadership Engagement Award. They were later honored by the Haven Hills Foundation in 2017 for their work in preventing domestic violence.
4. In 2002, the Grossmans Became the Legal Guardians for a Burn Patient From Afghanistan
Rebecca and Peter Grossman in 2002 became the legal guardians for a burn patient from Afghanistan named Zubaida Hasan, GBF’s website says.
“Zubaida became like a daughter to the Grossman’s and her story was featured on several television shows including The Oprah Show, ABC Primetime, and Good Morning America,” the site adds.
A book, called Tiny Dancer, was later published about the burn victim and her recovery process with the Grossmans, according to GBF.
5. Grossman Posted Bail Early Thursday Morning, According to County Jail Records
On October 1, Grossman was released on bond shortly after midnight, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s jail records.
Her first court appearance is slated for October 21, the records show. According to ABC7, Grossman was not cooperating with the investigation, but investigators have surveillance video of the crash.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the boys’ parents and siblings witnessed the crash. “The children were walking with their family. It is a very tragic situation. The mother and father were able to pull the other two children back in time, and the vehicle struck the two other children,” Captain Salvador Becerra told ABC7.
Grossman could not be reached for comment by Heavy and it was not immediately clear if she had hired an attorney who could comment on her behalf.