Ex-SDSU athlete pleads not guilty to fatal DUI crash

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VISTA, Calif. – The former San Diego State football player accused of hitting and killing a highway worker in Escondido pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

Reginald Grigsby Jr., 31, was driving on the connector from South City Centre Parkway to I-15 Monday afternoon when he rolled his SUV.

As the vehicle tumbled, it hit 21-year-old Leonardo Sandoval — who was working as a Caltrans subcontractor fixing sprinklers in the median.

Prosecutors say Sandoval was killed instantly.

Sandoval lived in Murrieta with his 20 year-old fiancee and their one year-old boy.

“We just celebrated the baby’s birthday last Saturday. To think that was the only birthday he had with his dad is heartbreaking,” said Luisa Quevedo, the aunt of Sandoval’s fiancee.

Grigsby is a former SDSU football player with a history of mental issues. In 2009, he attacked his mother and choked her. The attack stopped when Grigsby’s father, then a captain with Oceanside police, shot him.

Investigators say they found medication at the site of the crash.

“We’re waiting for toxicology results to let us know. Right now, what we believe is that it was a central nervous system depressant that was in his system,” said deputy district attorney Aimee McLeod.

In court, Grigsby blurted out he was sorry. Sandoval’s loved ones say the apology is no comfort.

“He seems like somebody who’s careless. He’s got to pay some kind of price. I don’t think it amounts to what we’re paying,” said James Sanchez, the stepfather of Sandoval’s fiancee.

The judge set Grigsby’s bail at $750,000. Grigsby faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.





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