Mother talks about son's death on I-15

Posted at 6:04 PM, Sep 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-15 21:04:48-04

Silvia Pena says her son's fiancée, her family and a pastor showed up at her home and she just knew.

"I knew that Leo was dead," said Pena.

Her son, Leo Sandoval, had recently been promoted to foreman at a landscaping company and was working on the sprinklers along the I-15 in Escondido.

The California Highway Patrol says Reginald Grigsby Jr. was heading southbound when he lost control, slammed into Sandoval, killing him instantly.

RELATED: Freeway worker killed by out-of-control SUV

The tears are flowing now, but Pena says she felt numb physically and emotionally after hearing her son was dead. She said she didn't cry for hours, but she paced, in denial until loved ones took control.

"My friends took me to the hospital. They said you need to go. I wasn't crying, I was just like a robot," said Pena.

Pena says her son lived and breathed for his fiancée Marissa and his son Vincent.

"He was the kind of guy who every night was reading to his child, playing the guitar to his child, the best daddy," she said.

On Saturday, the family celebrated little Vincent's first birthday. Pena aches for her grandson who will never know his father. 

As for the driver accused of killing her son, Pena said, "I want him in jail forever."

Grigsby has been in trouble before. In 2009, he was sentenced to one year in jail after attacking his mother. His own father, a retired Oceanside Police captain, had to shoot him to stop the attack.

RELATED: Son shot by dad accused of attempted murder of mom

"I don't need compassion, and please don't tell me that he has a mental illness or whatever," said Pena.

The CHP said Grigsby tested positive for drugs, but the blood tests will take awhile to reveal exactly what drugs he was on.

The 31-year-old will be arraigned Wednesday at 1:30 at Vista Court. He is charged with felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.