Suspect in wrong-way crash has previous DUI conviction, records show
The 21-year-old driver of a Chevrolet Camaro who is suspected of DUI and causing a three-car pileup in Diamond Bar on Sunday morning that killed six people has a previous conviction for driving under the influence, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Olivia Carolee Culbreath was just 17 years old when she was convicted in a San Bernardino juvenile court on April 13, 2010, of driving drunk, DMV officials said. She was cited for traffic violations at least two more times before her license was reinstated in December 2011, state records show.
The restrictions on Culbreath’s license were lifted last week, the DMV said.
Authorities say Culbreath was drunk when she drove her 2013 Camaro the wrong way on the westbound 60 Freeway and hit two other vehicles, killing two people in her car and four people in a Ford Explorer. Lt. Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said investigators “believe from what they found in the vehicle that alcohol was involved.”
Witnesses told California Highway Patrol officials that Culbreath may have been driving as fast as 100 mph.
After dark on Sunday at the Culbreath home in Fontana, Olivia’s brother Kehtai Culbreath said the family knew little about her condition and did not want to talk about the incident.
“There’s not much to say,” Kehtai Culbreath said. “We’re all still grieving.”
Culbreath is listed in stable condition and will be arrested on suspicion of DUI causing great bodily injury and manslaughter when she’s released, the California Highway Patrol said. She suffered a broken leg and ruptured bladder in the crash. Maya Culbreath, 24, believed to be the driver’s sister, and Kristin Melissa Young, 21, were in the car with her and died.
[Updated 1:30 p.m. PST, Feb. 10: Maya Culbreath also had been convicted of DUI multiple times, according to state records.
DMV records showed her driver’s license was suspended multiple times in connection with excessive blood-alcohol levels. Her license was revoked effective May 6, 2013, and it had not been reinstated at the time of the crash, DMV officials said.]
Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, 47; Leticia Ibarra, 42; Jessica Jasmine Mejia, 20; and Esther Delgado (whose age was not immediately available) were in the Explorer and were killed. All were members of the same family, authorities said.
The driver of the third car, Joel Cortez, 57, of Ontario, suffered minor injuries and is home recovering.
His daughter said her father described a movie-like scene on the 60 Freeway: twisted metal, blood and mangled bodies.
“He remembers seeing part of an engine that hit him, pushed him against a wall, completely crushing both sides of our car,” said Cortez’ daughter, 24-year-old Emma Cortez. “In shock, first thing he does is look around. There’s a freeway, two cars completely destroyed. And there’s bodies on the floor without heads…this is something you would see out of a movie.”
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