SAN DIEGO – A man accused of killing a toddler and grandmother back in September in a hit and run was sentenced Friday.
Grant Thoren was sentenced to 10 years and four months in prison after pleading guilty last month to gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run causing injury or death.
“God made me strong so I am standing here facing you and god wants me to tell you that I forgive you.” said Jasmine Magat, who lost both her 2-year-old little girl and mother.
In September, Thoren was accused of rear-ending a Honda Sedan on Interstate 15 near Scripps Poway Parkway killing 2-year-old Keira Magat and her 64-year-old grandmother Lina Pelembergo Nebrida, who were both in the back seat. Thoren left the scene, according to California Highway Patrol.
While the driver and mother of the toddler were on the phone with police, their vehicle was hit a second time from behind by a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.
“He hit the Magat’s car disabling them in the middle of the freeway. While they were in the middle of the freeway calling for assistance the Mounsey car came upon them, did not have time to avoid the collision," said Deputy District Attorney Nicole Rooney.
“You may not be the murder but you are the reason why we are here, why they are gone, the reason why they are dead," said Elaine Santos, the daughter-in-law to Nebrida.
Thoren was later tracked down and arrested. Last month Thoren pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run causing injury or death. Prosecutors say because he fled the scene they were not able to prove that he was under the influence of drugs at the time, so those allegations were dropped.
Nebrida leaves behind nine children and 23 grandchildren. The prosecution also read a letter in court from Rene Mounsey who was in the second vehicle. As a result of her injuries she is unable to fulfill her position in the military and is no longer active duty and faces medical separation from the United States Navy.