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Coroner: 4 members of family killed in wrong-way crash

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (AP) - Four members of a family were killed in a wrong-way freeway crash in California that also took the lives of two other people, including the sister of a woman arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and manslaughter, authorities said Monday.

Two people in a Ford Explorer - Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, 47, and Ester Delgado - died at the scene of Sunday's early morning crash on state Route 60, said Los Angeles County coroner's Lt. Fred Corral. Two other family members in the SUV - Leticia Ibarra, 42, and Jessica Jasmine Mejia, 20 - were declared dead at a hospital. All four were from Huntington Park.

Two additional victims were passengers in a Chevy Camaro that authorities said was driven by the suspect, Olivia Culbreath, 21, of Fontana. Her sister, Maya Louise Culbreath, 24, of Rialto and Kristin Melissa Young, 24, of Chino were declared dead at the scene, Corral said.

Wendell Johnson of Rancho Cucamonga, a friend, told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune (http://bit.ly/1egcAhY ) that Olivia Culbreath recently had a baby and the group had been on a "girls' night out" in Fullerton.

"She just had a baby," Johnson said. "I was supposed to go see her."

Olivia Culbreath remained hospitalized in serious condition and was being treated for a broken femur and a ruptured bladder. She was arrested after being pulled from the badly mangled Camaro, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.

Culbreath had a 2010 conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol stemming from a 2009 incident and her license was pulled but it was reinstated in 2011, according to Department of Motor Vehicle records.

Jimenez said the crash scene in Diamond Bar, a suburb east of Los Angeles, was horrific. Three people were ejected from their cars and the Camaro was barely recognizable.

Authorities said Culbreath was traveling north in the southbound lanes of state Route 57 before transitioning east in the westbound lanes where the Camaro collided head-on with the Ford Explorer. A Ford Freestyle then collided with the Explorer.

Witnesses told dispatchers the Camaro was speeding up to 100 mph, he said.

Evidence gathered at the scene included an alcoholic beverage, Jimenez told the Tribune.

The driver of the Ford Freestyle suffered minor injuries.

The investigation continued Monday. CHP Sgt. Carlo Fusco said he didn't know if Culbreath had a lawyer.

A cellphone number associated with her was disconnected.

Investigators were seeking witnesses to the crash.

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Marianne February 14 2014 at 10:42 AM

Olivia Culbreath recently had a baby and the group had been on a "girls' night out" in Fullerton.

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kamidaddy February 11 2014 at 4:02 PM

How drunk do you have to be going the wrong way 100mph against traffic on a Californa freeway? This girl as well as the rest of the girls in her car had to be so wasted to do something that irresponsible and stupid. Sheis a repeat drunk driver and a new mother? Ridiculous. She is a murderer and a completely irresponsible parent. Throw the book at her and throw away the key.

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musomesa February 11 2014 at 5:32 PM

To get onto the ramp going the wrong way you have to be driving on the wrong side of the road in the first place. The only way I can see a person doing this is if they have just arrived in a country that drives on the other side of the road and are in a low traffic situation with no oncoming cars to give them a hint.

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pbpied February 11 2014 at 1:46 PM

She "just had a baby", and was out partying, getting drunk?
A mother's responsibilities do not end with the delivery, they just begin. Now the newborn will grow up without a mother, since she will be in prison. @ peacemanzz , the article says that it was Olivia, the driver/suspect who recently had the baby.

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halli620 February 11 2014 at 5:08 PM

You're totally missing the mark. As long as a parent makes proper arrangements to be cared for, you should not criticise what she does on her "time off" just because you think she should be with the baby or never allowed to drink or otherwise imbibe. The horrible tragedy here is due to her incredibly horrible actions, which have nothing to do with that.

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cjacsi February 12 2014 at 11:05 AM

Parenting is a full time job. If this girl was not ready to give up her wild party life, then she shouldn't have had a baby. Why couldn't she invite friends over and drink there when the baby is asleep? If she still wanted the wild life, then she should have made arrangements for a designated driver or taxi.

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rrdblu February 12 2014 at 11:22 AM

They have everything to do with that. If she had of had her priorities in order, there is a very high chance this tragedy would not have happened.

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PAT DEEL February 11 2014 at 12:37 PM

Certainly a tragedy for everyone involved. However, there should be NO second time for driving under the influence of alcohol, in my opinion. The first time someone is caught, their license should be confiscated and held for at least, several years. And mandatory jail sentences should be handed out to EVERYone who is a first time offender.......NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!! A repeat offender should lose his or her license for life! NO EXCEPTIONS!!

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Nancy February 11 2014 at 2:01 PM

Just because someone doesn't have a driver's license doesn't mean they can't or won't drive again.

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halli620 February 11 2014 at 5:02 PM

The only reason I would disagree is because according to her current age of 21 and past offense 5 YEARS ago (??) she was 16, so it would seem to me that an intensive driving safety course, plus driver's ed and passing her driving test again, along with some alcohol abuse treatment and volunteer work, would be more appropriate than never letting a person drive again for an (admittedly horrible) offense at age 16, though it seems unlikely that any of that occurred.

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peacemanzz February 11 2014 at 12:27 PM

I believe the driver's sister was the new mother. Please read and comprehend an article before commenting. Nowhere is there a mention that the victims were illegally in the country, but several folks have made heartless and violent comments condemning them [going so far to say they deserved their fate]. Even if they were here illegally, the death penalty ranks as the apex of injustice.

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halli620 February 11 2014 at 5:05 PM

No, I read it a few times too, and it says the suspect is the new mother, while her sister died in the crash. Confusing as written and may not be accurate, but that's what it says here.

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ess1203 February 11 2014 at 11:40 AM

She just had a baby and she's out drinking herself into oblivion?!! I'll bet she kept drinking the whole time she was pregnant too!! That baby should be taken from her and raised by someone other then a drunken murderer!! And what's with MANSLAUGHTER? IT SHOULD BE FIRST DEGREE MURDER!! I'd like to see this biotch put in a room with the relatives of the people she murdered!! She's nothing but a low-life piece of crap! She not only didn't give a damn about anyone else, she also didn't give a damn about her own child! It's about time we lock up these worthless repeat offender drunks and throw away the keys!!

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arenadood February 11 2014 at 11:39 AM

It will be absolutely wrong if she does not do Jail time for this.

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donrahilly February 11 2014 at 11:11 AM

Witnesses?? I thought it was caught on camera.

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redwolf34 February 11 2014 at 11:23 AM

The one in Florida was caught on camera, not the one in California.

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redwolf34 February 11 2014 at 11:07 AM

Is it too impractical or expensive to put the "don't back up" spikes on the freeway exits so a car that entered the wrong way would be disabled? Obviously alcohol is the main issue here, but since we can't stop drunk idiots from driving ....

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Shawn February 11 2014 at 1:14 PM

good idea

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musomesa February 11 2014 at 5:34 PM

I prefer someone realizing the mistake to back out of the freeway to them barreling on.

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ret452jk February 11 2014 at 11:01 AM

My condolences to all the families involved.
It seems she was playing chicken and lost.
Such a sad story for all involved.

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