Police are saying intoxication may have played a role in a wrong-way crash that brought a 2013 Camaro speeding at more than 100 miles an hour and an SUV together in the early morning Saturday, February 8th, in the Los Angeles community of Diamond Bar. Per NBC Channel 4 in Los Angeles, the driver of the Camaro, 21 year old Olivia Carolee Culbreath, survived the crash, sustaining a broken leg and a ruptured bladder, but her passengers, including her older sister Maya, were not so fortunate – both died while being transported to a nearby hospital.
Also killed in the crash were the unidentified family of four in the SUV. One additional victim, in a second SUV, received only minor injuries. According to CHP Spokesman Rodrigo Jimenez, “We believe alcohol had something to do with this crash.” The westbound 60 freeway was closed for several hours as the California Highway Patrol worked the crime scene.
Per the LA coroner’s office, the victims consisted of five females and one male, but their identities were being withheld pending notification of their families. The second surviving injured driver, identified as Joel Cortez, age 57, of La Puente, impacted the 1998 Ford Explorer with his 2006 Ford Freestyle after the Explorer was struck and nearly obliterated by Culbreath’s Camaro.
Culbreath remains hospitalized but has been upgraded to “stable” condition. She is being held in police custody while undergoing care, and authorities anticipate she will face felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter charges.
Los Angeles radio station KFI AM 640 is reporting that Culbreath had a previous DUI conviction in 2010 at age 17, and two other traffic violations on her record. She reportedly had just had the driving restrictions lifted from her license last week. KFI is also reporting that her sister Maya, killed in the crash, was currently without a license due to a DUI conviction of her own.
Per the San Bernardino Sun, Culbreath, who has been in custody since being released from the hospital, had a court date this week postponed until July 18th. Her arraignment has previously been postponed due to the enormous amount of evidence attorneys for both sides have to process, including more than 800 pages of discovery. It’s not known what the impetus for this most recent delay is, though.