Woman, grandchild killed in crash on I-15 near Scripps Poway Parkway

Crash sent mother, other child to hospital
Posted at 9:48 AM, Sep 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-12 12:31:55-04

The San Diego County Medical Examiner's office released the names of a toddler and her grandmother who were killed by a suspected drunk driver early Saturday morning on Interstate 15 in Mira Mesa.

Lina Pelembergo Nebrida, 64, and Keira Magat, 2, both of Temecula, were in a sedan that broke down at 1:50 a.m. and stalled in southbound traffic lanes approaching Scripps Poway Parkway in Mira Mesa. They were in the process of moving to a new residence in Chula Vista, the medical examiner's office reported.

Nebrida, Magat and Magat's 5-year-old sister were riding in the back seat of a Honda sedan, while the girls' mother was driving south on the freeway. Her name was not released, but CHP officers said she called 911 for help from the disabled car.

It was rear ended by a Cadillac CTS being driven by Grant Thoren, 31, of Vista, who left the crash scene, according to the CHP.

It was hit again from behind by a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck before help could arrive, according to the medical examiner.

The Honda driver and her 5-year-old daughter, also from Temecula, were taken to Sharp Memorial and Rady Children's Hospitals, respectively, with major injuries, according to CHP Officer Mary Bailey.

A 24-year-old woman from San Diego who was riding in the pickup truck, she was taken to Sharp Memorial with a complaint of pain. The pickup's driver was not injured, according to Bailey.

Thoren was arrested at his Vista home at about 7:15 a.m. and booked into the Vista jail on suspicion of two counts of murder, two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run with injury, and two counts of driving under the influence of drugs with injury, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's jail booking website. According to court records, Thoren had his driver's license suspended in August 2010 and again in June 2013. His license was valid when the crash occurred, however. 

Thoren was held without bail on suspicion of several probation violations, including three prior convictions of possession of a controlled substance, petty theft and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

He was scheduled to be arraigned in Vista Superior Court on Tuesday, according to the jail site.

The wreckage, which was deemed a crime scene by the CHP, caused a Sig Alert in the area for hours. Southbound traffic was diverted into the HOV lanes, Bailey said.

A family member started a GoFundMe page to help pay for the victims' funerals.