A former football standout accused of killing a young dad in a suspected DUI crash apologized to the victim's family prior to his arraignment Wednesday.
"Sorry to the family," accused drunk driver Reginald Grigsby said before the arraignment began, from behind frosted glass. "If you're here, I'm sorry."
Grigsby, 31, sat handcuffed behind a glass screen in a Vista courtroom Wednesday during his arraignment, looking down at the ground. He is accused of driving under the influence in a rollover crash that killed a Caltrans contractor and father repairing sprinklers along the northbound Interstate 15 center divide.
As the car overturned, it hit Leonardo Sandoval, 21, of Murrieta, a Caltrans contractor who was repairing sprinklers on the roadside. Sandoval was killed instantly, officials say.
His family told NBC 7 Sandoval was engaged to be married next spring and had a 1-year-old son. Family of Sandoval's fiance, Marissa, told NBC7 Marissa is inconsolable and that Grigsby ruined their family.
"[Sandoval] loved my daughter, took care of her and my grandson," said James Sanchez, stepdad of the victim's fiance. "It's a shame that one dispicable man can change all that for a ton of people. I hope justice does what it's supposed to do."
The Deputy DA said at the time of the crash, Grisgby was under the influence of some kind of central nervous system depressant, but wouldn't elaborate on what that depressant was.
Prosecutors argued Grigsby was a danger to the public and the judge agreed, raising his bail to $750,000.
Grigsby faces two felony charges, including a vehicular menslaughter charge, and if convicted could face up to ten years in prison.
Sandoval was a sub-contractor from the Pacific Restoration Group, hired by Caltrans to landscape portions of the 15 freeway. His boss described him as an "awesome kid."
His family told NBC 7 he was a loving and caring father.
"He was the type of dad that was always smiling from ear to ear...seeing how much they loved that baby, I've never seenanything like that," said Luisa Quevedo, a family member.
They say he loved music and would play his guitar while singing to his son every night after work. They never thought that music would come to such a sudden stop.
“This is a stark reminder of the dangers of working along the highway. I am asking motorists to limit distractions and drive with care, especially when highway workers are present,” said Caltrans District Director Laurie Berman in a statement.
Grigsby, a former San Diego State football player, has a history with law enforcement. In 2009, he went to his parents' house and attacked his mother, choking her until she passed out, prosecutors said.
His father, who was an Oceanside police captain at the time, shot his own son to stop him. That felony conviction was later expunged in 2014. Investigators said Grigsby has struggles with mental health problems.