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Driver in freeway crash that killed 6 moves from hospital to jail

Highway and Road DisastersTransportation DisastersDisasters and AccidentsCrime, Law and JusticeHomicideCrime

A Fontana woman accused of driving the wrong way on two freeways while drunk and causing a crash that killed six people has been released from the hospital and transferred to County Jail, officials said Thursday.

Olivia Carolee Culbreath, 21, is charged with six counts of murder in connection with the Feb. 9 early morning crash. At least 17 people reported seeing a woman driving the wrong way on the 57 and 60 freeways in the minutes before the deadly crash. Police said witnesses told them the car was driven by Culbreath and appeared to be going more than 100 mph.

Culbreath suffered a broken femur and ruptured bladder in the crash. She was transferred to the sheriff’s Twin Towers jail Thursday morning about 2 a.m., according to department records. An arraignment date has not yet been scheduled, L.A. County prosecutors said.

Culbreath is being held in lieu of $6-million bail.

Culbreath and Joel Cortez, the driver of a third vehicle caught in the crash, were the only survivors. Four family members in the Explorer, who all died, were identified as Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, 47; Leticia Ibarra, 42; Jessica Jasmine Mejia, 20; and Ester Delgado, 80.

Culbreath's passengers -- her sister Maya, 24; and a friend, Kristin Melissa Young, 21 -- were also killed.

At 17, Culbreath was convicted of drunk driving in San Bernardino County, California Department of Motor Vehicles officials said. State records also show she was cited for traffic violations at least two other times.

If convicted of the murder charges, Culbreath would face a maximum sentence of life in state prison.

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Twitter: @josephserna

Joseph.serna@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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