Socialite Rebecca Grossman’s Impaired Judgment and Fatal Crash: Valium and Alcohol Combination Under Scrutiny

The trial of Rebecca Grossman, a prominent Los Angeles socialite, has shed light on the tragic night when two young boys lost their lives in a Westlake crosswalk. Court documents have revealed that Grossman had consumed a cocktail and had Valium in her system, which experts claim had an “additive” effect on her impairment. The combination of alcohol and Valium impaired her judgment, leading to the fatal collision, according to an expert witness and prosecutors.

Grossman, 60, is facing charges of second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and hit-and-run driving resulting in death. Prosecutors allege that after enjoying cocktails with her then-lover, former Dodgers pitcher Scott Erickson, Grossman recklessly sped and crashed into the two boys as they crossed Triunfo Canyon Road behind their mother. The prosecution claims that Grossman reached speeds of up to 81 mph before the collision occurred on September 29, 2020.

During the trial, Det. Michael Takacs, the Los Angeles district attorney’s drug recognition expert, testified that the combination of alcohol and Valium can have an “additive effect,” amplifying the impairment caused by each substance. Grossman’s blood alcohol level was measured at 0.075% at the scene and 0.08% three hours later, slightly above California’s legal limit of 0.08%. Takacs stated that a blood alcohol level like Grossman’s would result in signs of impairment. Additionally, a blood test revealed the presence of Valium, a psychoactive drug that acts as a depressant on the central nervous system.

Further analysis of Grossman’s blood sample conducted by Vanessa Meneses, a supervising senior forensic scientist at the Orange County Crime Laboratory, detected the presence of caffeine, norfluoxetine fluoxetine (commonly known as Prozac), and nordiazepam (a metabolite of Valium). Meneses confirmed that the blood alcohol level, tested twice, was 0.074% and 0.073%. She explained that it is not uncommon for a blood sample to lose ethanol content when opened multiple times, similar to a soda bottle losing its fizz.

While the defense argued that the amount of Valium in Grossman’s system was minuscule, the investigator countered that he could not determine the exact quantity. The defense also highlighted that Valium was not found in Grossman’s purse or the white Mercedes SUV she was driving that night, suggesting that the drug could have been consumed days earlier.

During Grossman’s field sobriety test, Takacs observed signs of impairment, including errors in the test administration. Grossman took nine steps instead of eight, swayed during the one-leg-stand test, and kept her eyes open during the finger-to-nose test. However, Takacs based his assessment on the overall picture, including Grossman’s behavior after her vehicle came to a stop, disabled by its safety system. A deputy testified that Grossman claimed she did not know what she had hit, only that she had hit something.

The trial has also brought to light the presence of Erickson, who allegedly drank two margaritas at the restaurant with Grossman before the crash. The defense has argued that it was Erickson’s black 2016 Mercedes AMG SUV, not Grossman’s white Mercedes SUV, that initially struck the children. They further alleged that Erickson hid in nearby bushes and observed the aftermath of the incident unfold.

As the trial continues, the prosecution aims to prove that Grossman’s reckless behavior demonstrates implied malice, a crucial element in establishing second-degree murder charges. The defense, led by attorney Tony Buzbee, maintains that the amount of Valium in Grossman’s system was minimal and questions the accuracy of the field sobriety test.

Author: CrimeDoor

1 Response

  1. “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” – Benjamin Franklin

    This quote resonates with the post because it highlights the importance of collective empathy and action in seeking justice for the victims. In the case of Rebecca Grossman, being a prominent socialite, there is a risk that her status and influence may overshadow the tragedy and hinder the pursuit of justice. Benjamin Franklin’s quote reminds us that it is crucial for society as a whole to be equally outraged

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