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October 1, 2014

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Police seek witnesses to wrong-way crash that killed 6 in Calif.

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San Gabriel Valley Tribune,Watchara Phomicinda / AP

Officials investigate the scene of a multiple-vehicle accident in which six people were killed on the westbound Pomona Freeway in Diamond Bar, Calif., on Sunday morning, Feb. 9, 2013. Authorities say a wrong-way driver caused the pre-dawn crash.

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. — The California Highway Patrol asked for witnesses to come forward as it investigated a suspected drunken driver who sped the wrong way on a Southern California freeway, causing a weekend crash that killed six people.

Olivia Culbreath, 21, of Fontana, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of driving under the influence and manslaughter after being pulled from a badly mangled Chevy Camaro on State Route 60, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.

She remained hospitalized Monday with a broken femur and a ruptured bladder, officials said.

Jimenez said the crash scene in this 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 of State Route 60, where the Camaro collided head-on with a red Ford Explorer. A Ford Freestyle then collided with the Explorer.

Four people were pronounced dead at the scene, and two people died after being taken to the hospital, Jimenez said.

Five females and one male were killed, said Los Angeles County Coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz. Officials were waiting to release their names because relatives have not been notified.

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

Culbreath was in serious condition Sunday at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, he said.

Jimenez told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune evidence collected from the scene included alcohol.

The victims included a 24-year-old woman from Chino and a 24-year-old woman from Rialto, Los Angeles County coroner's Lt. Fred Corral told the newspaper. Both were passengers in Culbreath's car who died at the scene.

A family member told KCAL-TV one of the victims was Culbreath's sister.

Another victim, a 47-year-old man, is believed to have been a passenger in the Ford Explorer. The driver of the Ford Freestyle suffered minor injuries.

The westbound lanes of State Route 60 were closed for about eight hours as investigators sifted through the wreckage.

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