Family, Friends Hold Vigil For Family Of 4 Killed In Suspected Drunk Driving Crash
LINCOLN HEIGHTS (CBSLA.com) — Family and friends gathered Tuesday night to remember a family of four killed by a suspected drunk driver.
Leticia Ibarra, 42, her husband Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, 47, her daughter Jessica Mejia, 20, and her mother, Ester Delgado, were among six killed early Sunday morning when a Chevy Camaro traveling the wrong-way on the 60 Freeway in Diamond Bar slammed into the family’s 1998 Ford Explorer.
Ibarra’s cousin told KCAL9’s Rachel Kim at an emotional vigil in Lincoln Heights the family members were on their way back home from a casino — a trip she and her husband usually go on as well.
“She said that she feels guilty that she was not in the vehicle because she usually is in that vehicle. But at the same time, she feels happy that obviously she was not in the vehicle,” the family member said through a translator.
Ibarra is survived by her eldest daughter, who declined an on-camera interview.
The victim’s brother, Juan Antonio, said, however, that he is praying for his family, and also for Olivia Culbreath, the woman accused of causing the crash.
“He understands that she has lost also a sister and also is suffering. May God help her,” he said through a translator.
Culbreath, of Fontana, was one of only two survivors in the collision, which also killed her 24-year-old sister Maya, of Rialto, and 21-year-old Kristin Young, of Chino.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Culbreath was behind the wheel of the Camaro and was drunk and speeding before the chain-reaction crash, which also involved a 2006 Ford Freestyle.
Culbreath sustained a broken femur and ruptured bladder and was hospitalized at County USC, where she remains in stable condition. She faces charges of felony DUI and manslaughter.
Fifty-seven-year-old Joel Cortez, the driver of the Freestyle, suffered minor injuries.
According to DMV records, Culbreath had her license reinstated on February 4, less than a week before the accident. She had been suspended twice previously — once in 2010 when she was 17 for excessive blood-alcohol content, and once for negligence in 2011.
Ibarra’s family is meanwhile planning to bury their four loved ones in Mexico. If you’d like to help with funeral costs, the family asks that you call Sandra Ibarra at (925)234-2480.