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Olivia Culbreath, driver arrested in Calif. deadly crash, had previous DUI



DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (AP) -- A 21-year-old woman arrested for investigation of drunk driving and manslaughter after a crash that killed six people had her license suspended as a teenager for driving under the influence, according to state Department of Motor Vehicle records.

Olivia Culbreath of Fontana, who was badly injured in Sunday's crash, was hospitalized in stable condition.

She was arrested after being pulled from the mangled Camaro she had been driving the wrong way on a Southern California freeway before dawn Sunday, said California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez.

Driver Arrested In Crash That Killed 6 Had Previous DUI

Witnesses said Culbreath's car may have been traveling at up to 100 mph eastbound in the westbound lanes of State Route 60 when it collided head-on with a Ford Explorer, hurling wreckage and bodies onto the freeway. The Explorer was then hit by a Ford Freestyle.

Culbreath, the mother of a newborn, suffered a broken femur and ruptured bladder. Her older sister was among those killed.

Authorities said they found an alcoholic beverage at the scene of the crash, which happened in Diamond Bar, a bedroom community 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

Two people in the Explorer - Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, 47, and Ester Delgado - died at the scene, county coroner's Lt. Fred Corral said. Two other family members in the vehicle - Leticia Ibarra, 42, and Jessica Jasmine Mejia, 20 - were declared dead at a hospital. All four were from Huntington Park. Delgado's age was not available.

Culbreath's sister, Maya Louise Culbreath, 24, of Rialto, and another Camaro passenger, Kristin Melissa Young, 24, of Chino, died at the scene, Corral said.

The Ford Freestyle's driver, Joel Cortez, 57, of La Puente, was treated for minor injuries.

Culbreath's family was still trying to cope with the tragedy, her grandmother, Carole Phillips, told The Associated Press on Monday evening.

"They won't let us see her," Phillips said by telephone. "We're just devastated because of the loss of the others, too. It's just too much."

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

Neighbors in Fontana told the paper that Culbreath had given birth to a son in late January.

Culbreath had a 2010 conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol stemming from a 2009 incident when she was 17. Her license was pulled, but it was reinstated in 2011, according to DMV records.

However, Octavio Castellanos, a neighbor of Culbreath, told the Tribune he rarely saw her drinking before she became pregnant and added that she didn't drink at all during the pregnancy.

"You wouldn't think she would do something like that," said his brother, Andretti Castellanos. "She was the type of girl that never got into trouble."

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Jeffrey Stone February 11 2014 at 1:15 PM

Give her at the very least 10 years for each person killed!!!!! Sick of people getting DUI and being able to drive again!! Come on judges, what if it was someone in your family killed!! Get a clue!!

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yesman410 February 11 2014 at 1:53 PM

lets see if she can find the lawyer that got the young boy off with 10 years probation because his parents never taught him right from wrong lets see what happens here
she should get life without parol thats just my thought

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Allen February 11 2014 at 1:50 PM

There is no mention of where she was that served her the alcohol and there should be some culbability on allowing a drunk woman on the road.

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6 replies
wnstnrace1 February 11 2014 at 1:50 PM

Well, based on the fact that the DUI Legal system is in the toilet (as evidenced by recent mass murderers walking scot-free after killing numerous people at one shot while drunk off their ass), my bet is that she walks with NO jail time, then sues the the familes of those she killed for HER pain & suffering, and wins big!!!

This is after all, California...."Land Of The Liberally Stupid & Ignorant"

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1 reply
donc703 wnstnrace1 February 11 2014 at 2:04 PM

Yep, there's no hope for California. Any state that elects a senile, old boob like Pelosi to represent them deserves whatever they get.

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princess February 11 2014 at 1:50 PM

Of course she is the only one who survived the crash, most drunk people do. I hope she gets life in prison but this is California so for manslaughter charges she will probably be out in a few years. My sister was killed by a drunk driver and got a slap on the wrist so every time I see these kinds of stories it pisses me off. I just want to give my condolences to the innocent family that was killed in the explorer.

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dave1marine February 11 2014 at 1:48 PM

There are some who have NO CONCEPT of "moderation". It's balls to the walls, with ANYTHING they get their hands on. If you "BAN" any and everything that even has the potential of abuse or misuse, you're punishing the majority for the weakness of the few, and THEY are now the ones who rule society.

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1 reply
bijou1230 dave1marine February 11 2014 at 2:17 PM

It's not just a few anymore. Nobody does anything in moderation anymore. A majority of people that I have known over my 51 years drink and drive. They may not be drunk, but they drink. When the bars close at night, all of those people are getting behind the wheel of a car with no regard for anyone else but themselves.

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c2t2beau February 11 2014 at 1:47 PM

DId her record show as a teenager that she was a drunk ?

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1 reply
Aissa2 c2t2beau February 11 2014 at 1:50 PM

May not have shown it, but doubt she could have driven while her license was suspended. She was a teenager back then. In any case, it was up to her to learn from that experience and not as an adult kill some folks because she thought she could once again drive and drink.

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Tree February 11 2014 at 1:46 PM

"She was the type of girl that never got into trouble." WHAT ???? She had her DL taken away at 17! and I am pretty darn sure that's not the only thing she got into trouble for in her teenage years! Let's not allow anyone to 'pretty up' the 'violator' !!! She obviously has a drinking problem! Now she has done something that she can not take back and she must stand up and pay the price for waht she has done! (new born baby or not!)

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1 reply
Aissa2 Tree February 11 2014 at 1:53 PM

I agree, not getting caught is not the same as her never getting into trouble. She sounds like she did not get caught, until her license having been suspended and now. Let's hope now she gets what is due her for killing 5 people. I'd say what she has just done sets precedence and eliminates the fact she did not get caught for her pass deeds for which she never got caught. She does not sound as if she was no angel. Doubt even if she had been one of the people killed, she would still not be an angel.

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chasesea February 11 2014 at 1:45 PM

Girls night out.....with a newborn at home. What's she going to do when the baby starts growing...and becomes an even bigger responsibility? Can't hack motherhood already, a-hole? You had to go out and get plastered? Then what? Go home and maybe feed your newborn when you probably couldn't even stand up? POS. Rot in hell. Hope the baby is removed from your guidance.

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1 reply
shindogdiggity88 chasesea February 11 2014 at 2:03 PM

Sadly, this type of "parenting" is becoming somewhat of a trend.

Luckily I don't take to trends :)

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baldbiker2 February 11 2014 at 1:57 PM

Hopefully the families of the victims, esp those ijn the Explorer, will be able to file mulltimillion dollar lawsuits against Culbreath and her insurance co, if she had insurance. Regardless, hopefully she will go to jail for many years, hopefully for life. Alcoholics need to be put in their place and drunk drivers need to be put away. There's no excuse for what she did other than reckless behavior and irresponsibility. So many lives lost, and its all her fault. Imagine being responsibility for killing so many people.

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1 reply
tyler02 baldbiker2 February 11 2014 at 2:33 PM

Insurance Companies do not insure you when you break the law. The lawsuit is a minor recourse to be taken up at some future date. Right now, their is heartbreak and a vacuum of loss that cannot be described. This girl's life is over also - she might s well die - she will never be able to face family or friends, or life any more. I have seen so many accidents I cannot tell you how many and the worse part is going to the family and telling the next of kin what happened and what they have lost forever. Many times it is a child. My family lost a 3 year old in an accident in Bowie Maryland a few years ago
due to bad weather, slippery road, and a construction area that was not lit because the wind and sleet had blown the signs away. The little blonde haired girl didn't have a chance. I could not look at the open casket at the funeral it was so sad.

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