Crime & Justice

Driver accused of killing 6 in Pomona Freeway crash charged with murder

Investigators at the scene of a wrong-way wreck on the 60 Freeway that killed six people on February  9, 2014.
Investigators at the scene of a wrong-way wreck on the 60 Freeway that killed six people on February 9, 2014.
Courtesy NBC LA

Olivia Culbreath, 21, has been charged with six counts of murder related to the deadly crash last weekend that killed six people.

California Highway Patrol officers said Culbreath was driving the wrong way on the westbound 60 Freeway early Sunday morning and caused the head-on collision. She was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and felony manslaughter and booked into the inmate ward at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, according to the CHP.

Related: Update: Coroner names victims in wrong-way crash, including 4 members of a family

The L.A. District Attorney’s office filed murder charges Thursday against the Fontana woman. She was scheduled to appear for arraignment Thursday in Pomona, but could not because she remains hospitalized. Her bail has been set at $6 million dollars.

Authorities have not been able to talk to Culbreath because she is sedated as she recovers from injuries suffered in the wreck. CHP investigators say they are still looking for people who might have information about the crash to talk to them.

"We have good leads, but we want better leads," said CHP officer Rodrigo Jimenez. 

Investigators are interested in talking to people who might have been with Culbreath before the crash. The Fullerton area is one place they are interested in, said authorities, who did not offer any more details.

Culbreath has a previous drunk driving conviction. Records from California's Department of Motor Vehicles show she was convicted of drunk driving in 2010 and had her license revoked. She eventually got her license back and it was valid at the time of the wreck, according to the DMV.

Four members of a family were killed in the wrong-way freeway crash that took the lives of two other people.

Two people in a Ford Explorer — Gregorio Mejia-Martinez, 47, and Ester Delgado — died at the scene of the crash on the 60 Freeway, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner. Two other family members in the SUV — Leticia Ibarra, 42, and Jessica Jasmine Mejia, 20 — later died at a hospital. All four were from Huntington Park, according to the coroner.

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

If convicted, Culbreath faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

This story has been updated.