DIAMOND BAR (CNS) - A 21-year-old wrong-way driver suspected of killing six people and injuring a seventh by driving east on the westbound Pomona (60) Freeway in Diamond Bar remained hospitalized today as the coroner worked to contact the relatives of the deceased.
Los Angeles County Coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz said the dead were five females and one male, but he would not release their names because investigators were still working to notify relatives of their deaths in Sunday morning's wrong-way crash.
The driver, 21-year-old Fontana resident Olivia Culbreath, was arrested on suspicion of felony drunken driving and felony manslaughter, said California Highway Patrol Officer Jennifer Cassidy, adding that Culbreath was listed in serious condition at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with a fractured femur and ruptured bladder.
The crash occurred on the westbound Pomona Freeway north of Diamond Bar Boulevard at 4:50 a.m. Sunday, according to the CHP.
Cassidy confirmed four fatalities at the scene. Los Angeles County Coroner's Lt. Fred Corral said two people transported to UC Irvine Medical Center later died.
The coroner's office also released the ages and genders of three of those killed: Two were 24-year-old women -- one from Rialto and the other from Chino; the third was a 47-year-man whose hometown was undetermined, Corral said.
Joel Cortez, 57, of La Puente was driving a 2006 Ford Freestyle that crashed into a 1998 Ford Explorer after Culbreath rammed her 2013 Chevrolet Camaro head on into the Explorer. Cortez was transported to UC Irvine Medical Center complaining of pain.
'`We're actually really blessed to the fact that we still have him,'' Cortez's son, Jonathan, told ABC7. ``We know that six people have been killed from this and we send our condolences to the families and friends of the victims.''
The crash shut down both sides of the freeway to allow a rescue helicopter to land, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.
The eastbound lanes were then reopened, but westbound lanes remained closed until about 1:15 p.m. Sunday to allow for the crash investigation and clean-up, he said.
Witnesses to the crash were urged to contact the CHP at (626) 338-1164.