Driver Arrested In Deadly Crash Had Previous DUI
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DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (AP) — A 21-year-old woman arrested for investigation of drunk driving and manslaughter after a crash that killed six people had her license suspended as a teenager for driving under the influence, according to state Department of Motor Vehicle records.
Olivia Culbreath of Fontana, who was badly injured in Sunday’s crash, was hospitalized in stable condition.
She was arrested after being pulled from the mangled Camaro she had been driving the wrong way on a Southern California freeway before dawn Sunday, said California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez.
Witnesses said Culbreath’s car may have been traveling at up to 100 mph eastbound in the westbound lanes of State Route 60 when it collided head-on with a Ford Explorer, hurling wreckage and bodies onto the freeway. The Explorer was then hit by a Ford Freestyle.
Culbreath, the mother of a newborn, suffered a broken femur and ruptured bladder. Her older sister was among those killed.
Authorities said they found an alcoholic beverage at the scene of the crash, which happened in Diamond Bar, a bedroom community 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
Two people in the Explorer — Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, 47, and Ester Delgado — died at the scene, county coroner’s Lt. Fred Corral said. Two other family members in the vehicle — Leticia Ibarra, 42, and Jessica Jasmine Mejia, 20 — were declared dead at a hospital. All four were from Huntington Park. Delgado’s age was not available.
Culbreath’s sister, Maya Louise Culbreath, 24, of Rialto, and another Camaro passenger, Kristin Melissa Young, 24, of Chino, died at the scene, Corral said.
The Ford Freestyle’s driver, Joel Cortez, 57, of La Puente, was treated for minor injuries.
Culbreath’s family was still trying to cope with the tragedy, her grandmother, Carole Phillips, told The Associated Press on Monday evening.
“They won’t let us see her,” Phillips said by telephone. “We’re just devastated because of the loss of the others, too. It’s just too much.”
Wendell Johnson of Rancho Cucamonga, a friend, told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that the group in the Camaro had been on a “girls’ night out” in Fullerton.
Neighbors in Fontana told the paper that Culbreath had given birth to a son in late January.
Culbreath had a 2010 conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol stemming from a 2009 incident when she was 17. Her license was pulled, but it was reinstated in 2011, according to DMV records.
However, Octavio Castellanos, a neighbor of Culbreath, told the Tribune he rarely saw her drinking before she became pregnant and added that she didn’t drink at all during the pregnancy.
“You wouldn’t think she would do something like that,” said his brother, Andretti Castellanos. “She was the type of girl that never got into trouble.”
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