Wrong-Way Driver Suspect Has Prior DUI Conviction, Police Say

Olivia Carolee Culbreath of Fontana was arrested on suspicion of felony drunken driving and felony manslaughter after Sunday's 4:50 a.m. crash

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

The 21-year-old woman suspected of driving drunk and killing six people in a wrong-way, head-on collision on the Pomona (60) Freeway in Diamond Bar was convicted of drunken driving at age 17, authorities said Monday.

Olivia Carolee Culbreath of Fontana was arrested on suspicion of felony drunken driving and felony manslaughter after Sunday's 4:50 a.m. crash, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Jennifer Cassidy.

Culbreath was listed in serious condition at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with a fractured femur and ruptured bladder, Cassidy said.

The crash occurred on the westbound Pomona Freeway near of Diamond Bar Boulevard.   

Culbreath, headed east in westbound lanes at speeds up to about 100 mph in a new Chevrolet Camaro, crashed head-on into a 1998 Ford Explorer, according to the CHP report.

A 2006 Ford Freestyle also struck the Explorer.

The dead in the Camaro included 24-year-old Maya Culbreath, Olivia's sister and Kristin Young, 21, of Chino, according to coroner's spokesman Ed Winter.

Four people ejected from the Explorer died. They were identified as Huntington Park residents Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, 47; Leticia Ibarra, 42; Jessica Mejia, 20; and Esther Delgado, an adult whose age was not immediately known.

Olivia Culbreath was convicted of driving under the influence on April 13, 2010, according to Department of Motor Vehicles records. She was stopped for two more violations before her license was reinstated in December 2011, according to the DMV, which lifted  restrictions on her license last week.

Maya Culbreath had multiple convictions for drunken driving, according to the DMV. Her license was revoked.

The Ford Freestyle was driven by Joel Cortez, 57, of La Puente, who was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center with unknown injuries after complaining of pain.

"We're actually really blessed to the fact that we still have him," Cortez's son, Jonathan, told ABC7. "We know that six people have been killed from this, and we send our condolences to the families and friends of the victims."

According to the CHP, Olivia Culbreath somehow got on the southbound 57 Freeway going north, then transitioned to the westbound 60 going east.

Anyone who saw the accident was urged to call the CHP at (626) 338-1164.

Nadine Bolotin February 11, 2014 at 09:56 AM
Very upsetting to know a young mom would go out and party with a newborn baby at home. And for her other passengers not to know she was on 2 freeways in the wrong direction is just as bad.
Dan Snelson February 11, 2014 at 10:38 AM
I suspect her sister and friend were just as drunk as she was and did not notice anything, even at over 100 miles an hour...where did you read she is a new mom? did not see that in this article... she should NEVER be allowed to drive again, and she needs to serve the maximum time for 6 counts of manslaughter to run consecutively.
Teri Felker February 11, 2014 at 11:02 AM
She should be charged with and convicted of MURDER. Nothing less...no whining or crying allowed.
Dan Snelson February 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM
okay, after doing a search, I FINALLY found a story that mentioned she just had a baby, no mention of a father, looking at her pictures, It would not surprise me if she did not know who it was. Her sister looked very wholesome, she had gotten her license back 5 days before. She had a couple of no shows to court, and revokes for too many points on her license. not to mention a DUI at 17. Ruptured bladder, she could spend the rest of her life with a urostomy pouch for the rest of her life, now THAT will put a crimp in her party life....
Nadine Bolotin February 11, 2014 at 11:46 AM
I'm really disgusted. Wonder if anything could be done to make sure people with so many issues (DUI, no shows for court, accidents) can never regain their drivers licenses after suspension. If yes, it would increase the use of public transportation, which is needed; And keep some alcoholics off the roads. Innocent people dead because of this drunken driver. Hope it never happens to any of our family or friends. It would be de devastating to say the least.
Diana February 11, 2014 at 02:43 PM
I thought that it is standard procedure in the court systems now that when you please guilty or no contest to any DUI you have to acknowledge that any future charge of a DUI that results in death means you will be charged with murder. Does anyone know more about this. I believe there's also something you have to sign or you have to raise your hand and confirm your understanding on the record. So if this was the case and she knew that if she were to get a DUI in the future and kill someone she would face murder charges, why isn't she facing 6 counts of murder then?
RAYSAY February 12, 2014 at 05:17 PM
What I see is a crucial soul, for doing a U-turn for God. No doubt she needs to pay mightily for this near unforgivable atrocity; and she will, both a prisoner in mind and body, for if she has any conscious left, she will never escape psychology. But she can still plea the mercy of above. This may be what she needed to realize that.
pamylla February 12, 2014 at 09:47 PM
This person will have to live with what she has done the rest of her life. This should be just punishment, at least for a "normal" person. Not to be judgemental or anything, but I pray she NEVER sits behind the wheel of a car again.
RAYSAY February 12, 2014 at 09:56 PM
If she does get behind the wheel again, we have but our justice system to blame, the same one that lifted her restrictions to begin with.
Teri Felker February 12, 2014 at 10:24 PM
Unfortunately, in my experience of working with chemically dependent people. there seems to be no law that will keep them from driving. They will do it with or without a license.
RAYSAY February 12, 2014 at 10:52 PM
That's right, but the justice system lacks wisdom in giving her legal permission to begin with, which does zero in any kind of cognizant conviction for her to not do it again. She could been celebrating her license restriction removal that evening, who knows.


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