nsucurrent.com
nsucurrent.com April 24, 2018


CHP: Deadly SUV Crash Off Mendocino Cliff May Have Been Intentional

03 April 2018, 03:46 | Colleen Roy

Hart family crash: No skid marks, signs of braking in fatal California SUV plunge

SUV that plunged off cliff killing family may have been intentional act

Douglas County juvenile court officials said it had no record of any child protection petitions related to the Harts while they lived in that county.

Preliminary data from the vehicle suggested that there had been approximately 70 feet of continuous acceleration from the last moment the brakes were applied before the SUV went over and hit the ocean floor, Baarts said.

"We can't get divers into that area".

Clark County Sheriff's Office obtained a searched warrant Thursday to retrieve items such as computers, credit cards, and bank statements to help the ongoing investigation for a probable cause.

The two women, both 38, were found dead inside the SUV, while three of their children - Markis Hart, 19, Jeremiah Hart, 14, and Abigail Hart, 14 - were discovered outside the vehicle.

In 2014, when Devonte Hart was 12, he was photographed hugging a police officer at a Portland demonstration to support the police brutality protests in Ferguson, Missouri; in response to the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

Five members of the Hart family were found dead.

Authorities believe at least one felony was committed but Captain Van Patten declined to specify.

A caseworker went to the house, but found no one home. But during Sunday night's teleconference with media, CHP said there was no note left behind and no obvious indicator in the Hart's home to explain what happened.

Only three bodies belonging to the couple's children have been recovered.




"At this point in our investigation, that is the direction we are going", Baarts said. Currently, they are attempting to determine a time line, path of travel and whether the family made any stops.

"Jen and Sarah really were the kind of parents that I think the world desperately needs", friend Zippy Lomax told KOIN.

The evidence? Information pulled from the family-of-eight's SUV software shows the vehicle was suspiciously stopped at the highway pullout before it accelerated straight off the cliff, according to Capt. Greg Baarts of the CHP Northern Division, reports CBS News. "They transformed these kids' lives", he said.

The wreckage was spotted on March 26 by a passing motorist.

"It was a very confusing scene because there were no skid marks, there were no brake marks", Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said on March 28.

The search continued for three more children believed to have been in the vehicle when it went over a coastal overlook and landed on rocks in the Pacific Ocean below.

After the Friday visit, Child Protective Services tried to visit the family twice more, on Monday and Tuesday, to no avail, according to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

The hart's were being investigated by social services in Washington after a neighbor complained there children were being deprived of food.

Investigators previously said they had no evidence that the crash near Mendocino, Calif., was a deliberate act.



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