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Diamond Bar wrong-way fatal crash: Suspect previously convicted of DUI

The suspect in a wrong-way crash in Diamond Bar that killed six people was previously convicted of DUI in 2010.
February 10, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
The 21-year-old suspect in a wrong-way crash on the 60 Freeway in Diamond Bar that killed six people on Sunday was previously convicted of DUI in 2010.

The six people who were killed in a wrong-way crash on the westbound 60 Freeway in Diamond Bar Sunday have been identified. One of the victims was the older sister of the woman who was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and manslaughter following a fatal crash that occurred near Philips Ranch Road around 4:40 a.m. Sunday.

Kristin Melissa Young, 21, of Chino and Maya Louise Culbreath, 24, of Rialto, were both killed riding in a Chevy Camaro that authorities said was driven by Maya Louise Culbreath's younger sister, Olivia Culbreath, 21, of Fontana.

Also killed were four members of a family identified as 47-year-old Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, 42-year-old Leticia Ibarra, 20-year-old Jessica Jasmine Mejia, and Esther Delgado, all from Huntington Park. The family was traveling in a Ford Explorer.

Olivia Carolee Culbreath was arrested on felony charges including suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol causing great bodily injury/death and manslaughter. She was hospitalized at County USC Medical Center with a broken femur and ruptured bladder.

Culbreath was previously convicted of DUI, according to the DMV. Her license was suspended in January 2010 and she was convicted in April 2010. Her license was reinstated in December 2011.

According to CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez, officials began receiving calls from witnesses regarding a wrong-way driver traveling north in a Chevrolet Camaro on the southbound lanes of the 57 Freeway. Witnesses told dispatchers the Camaro was speeding up to 100 mph Shortly after, additional calls came in regarding the wrong-way driver traveling east within the westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway.

That's when, Jimenez says, the Chevrolet Camaro struck a red 1998 Ford Explorer head-on. The Explorer then collided with a gray 2006 Ford Freestyle near Phillips Ranch Road.

Three people were ejected from their cars. Four people were pronounced dead at the scene. Two others were transported to UC Irvine Medical Center, but quickly succumbed to their injuries.

Joel Cortez, 57, of Ontario, was driving the Freestyle and escaped with scratches and severe bruises. His son, Jonathan Cortez, says he is in a lot of pain.

"All he remembers really is just the airbag going off and he was just moving and moving, and finally the car came to a stop and he had looked around, and there were people like, lying on the ground, and he said it was like something you would see out of a movie," said Cortez. "We're actually really blessed to the fact that we still have him. We know that six people have been killed from this, and we send our condolences to those families and friends of the victims."

The westbound lanes were closed following the collision to allow a medical helicopter to land on the freeway and to allow investigators to sift through the wreckage. California Highway Patrol personnel and the Los Angeles County Fire Department were leading the investigation.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or has further information about the case was urged to contact the California Highway Patrol Baldwin Park area office at (626) 338-1164.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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