Suspected Driver In Fatal Wrong-Way Crash Had License Reinstated Week Before Accident
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The suspected driver in Sunday’s fatal wrong-way crash on the 60 Freeway in Diamond Bar had her license reinstated less than a week before the accident.
Six were killed when Olivia Culbreath, of Fontana, allegedly drove a Chevy Camaro into a 1998 Ford Explorer, which was then hit by a 2006 Ford Freestyle at 4:50 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.
The CHP claims Culbreath was drunk and speeding at the time of the collision.
CBS2/KCAL9’s Tom Wait reports that according to the DMV, Culbreath’s license had been suspended twice previously – once in 2010 when she was 17 for excessive blood-alcohol content, and once for negligence in 2011. Her license was reinstated on February 4.
Culbreath was one of only two survivors.
Killed in the Ford Explorer were 47-year-old Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, 20-year-old Jessica Mejia, 42-year-old Leticia Ibarra and Ester Delgado, all of Huntington Park.
In Culbreath’s Camaro, her 24-year-old sister Maya, of Rialto, was killed, along with 21-year-old Kristin Young, of Chino.
Culbreath sustained a broken femur and ruptured bladder and was hospitalized at County USC in stable condition. She faces charges of felony DUI and manslaughter.
Fifty-seven-year-old Joel Cortez, the driver of the Ford Freestyle, suffered minor injuries.
He recalled to KCAL9’s Tom Wait how paramedics carried him from the mangled wreckage to the ambulance.
“I hear somebody say, ‘There are bodies all over the place…’
“All I saw was the red Explorer jump and then I tried to steer – and hit it, and drove right into the center wall of the freeway,” he said.
“I was on the way to the hospital. One of the paramedics said, ‘You were lucky.'”
At the Culbreath family home Monday afternoon, a woman who identified herself as the driver’s grandmother spoke briefly but did not want to show her face.
“I’m just the grandmother but it’s too much. [I] can’t deal with [it] anymore,” the woman said, adding that she has no knowledge of where Culbreath was coming from.
“We haven’t been given any details,” she said.
Witnesses to the collision are asked to call the CHP, Baldwin Park Area office, at (626) 338-1164.