Authorities have identified a suspected drunk driver who they say drove the wrong direction on the 60 Freeway in Diamond Bar early Sunday and caused an accident that killed six people.
Olivia Carolee Culbreath, 21, of Fontana has been arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and felony manslaughter, said Rodrigo Jimenez, a California Highway Patrol spokesman on the scene. Culbreath is in serious condition at the Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center with a broken femur and a ruptured bladder, Jimenez said.
Culbreath was heading east on the westbound 60 Freeway about 4:40 a.m. when her red Chevy Camaro collided head-on with a red Ford Explorer, authorities said. A Ford Freestyle was also involved in the accident, Jimenez said; the sequence of crashes is unclear. At least two people were ejected from their vehicles, he said.
Four people were pronounced dead at the scene, and two people died at UCI Medical Center, authorities said.
Officials had conflicting information about the deceased victims. Lt. Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County coroner's office said four of the dead were women and two were men. But Jimenez said five were female and one was male.
Standing near the crumpled vehicles as investigators measured skid marks and inspected debris, Jimenez called the crash “a horrific collision.” Authorities said the suspected drunk driver had been traveling northbound on the southbound 57 Freeway before moving to the 60 Freeway.
Investigators "believe from what they found in the vehicle that alcohol was involved," Corral said. Authorities were seeking to have blood tests conducted.
“This tragedy is 100% preventable,” Jimenez said.
A SigAlert was issued at the north Diamond Bar Boulevard exit of the 60 Freeway just before 5 a.m., according to CHP traffic logs. All lanes of the 60 Freeway have been closed between the 71 Freeway interchange and the site of the accident, more than a mile west. Ramps in the area have also been closed.
Officials hoped to have the freeway reopened by 1:30 p.m. Until then, motorists were urged to avoid the area.
At about 12:30 p.m., workers were begining to clean up the area and the silver Ford Freestyle was being towed away.