A man accused of killing a woman and her 2-year-old granddaughter in a hit-and-run crash on Interstate 15 in September was sentenced to prison Friday.
Grant Stewart Thoren, 31, will serve 10 years 4 months in prison, according to the District Attorney's office.
Califonria Highway Patrol (CHP) officials said Thoren was driving, allegedly under the influence, on southbound I-15 near Scripps Poway Parkway at around 1:45 a.m. on a Saturday when he crashed into a Honda. Inside the Honda were 64-year-old Lina Nebrida, her 35-year-old daughter, and her two granddaughters, aged 2 and 5.
The Honda became disabled in freeway lanes as a result of the collision, and shortly after was hit again by a pickup truck, according to CHP.
It was the second collision, the DA said Friday, that killed the two passengers. Thoren was found to be at fault.
Thoren allegedly pulled over briefly before fleeing the scene. The DA said Friday that since Thoren fled the scene, they could not prove that he was under the influence at the time of the crash.
The driver of the pickup truck stayed at the scene.
Emergency crews worked to extricate the family from the wreck. Nebrida and her 2-year-old granddaughter, Kiera Magat, did not survive the crash.
Thoren exited the freeway and called a tow truck from a gas station near Mira mesa Boulevard to have his silver Cadillac CTS towed to his home in Vista. When the tow truck driver, Erin Hughes, saw the story about the deadly hit-and-run crash on the news hours later, he called CHP investigators and led them to Thoren’s home.
According to the CHP, Hughes told investigators that it appeared Thoren had been drinking and seemed very upset.
"The alignment was off a little bit but it wasn't that bad,” Hughes told NBC 7 in September. “When I greeted them shaking their hands, his handshake seemed kind of lifeless in his hand."
"I had a feeling they didn't want to be seen. They wanted me to drop the car in the driveway as quietly as possible," Hughes added.
The 5-year-old granddaughter and her mother who were also passengers in the vehicle were taken to area hospitals with critical injuries and ultimately survived.
Nebrida's son and daughter, mother of Magat, both spoke at the sentencing.
"It's her charisma, her love, how she takes care of everybody and how she loves to help everybody," Nebrida's son said about how she will be remembered. "She would give everything to help out, not just to us, but to everybody."