Woman who drove SUV off California cliff was drunk, police say

14 April, 2018, 20:13 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • The bodies of Jennifer and Sarah Hart and three of their six kids were found in and around their SUV

Search and rescue teams in Northern California discovered the body of a woman Friday morning in the area where a Valencia family's vehicle was seen plunging into the rain-swollen Eel River a week ago, according to Mendocino County officials.

According to the sheriff's statement, Jennifer Hart, who was being the wheel of the SUV, had a blood-alcohol level of.102 BAC at the time of the fatal crash, which authorities believe was intentional. California drivers are considered drunk with a level of 0.08 or higher.

Toxicology tests also found that her wife Sarah Hart and two of their children had "a significant amount" of an ingredient commonly found in the allergy drug Benadryl, which can make people sleepy.

Search crews Friday morning recovered a child's body from the Eel River, a week after a missing Southern California family's vehicle fell into its waters during an intense rainstorm.

Efforts to find the three missing Hart children are continuing.

The California Highway Patrol said that witnesses have told them they saw a SUV matching the description of the one owned by the Thottapilly family rolled through a highway pullout, slam into trees as it went down a 150-foot embankment and crash into the swift-moving waters of the Eel River.

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The 31-metre drop killed the women, both 39, and their children Markis Hart, 19; Jeremiah Hart, 14; and Abigail Hart, 14. Authorities believe Devonte, 15, Hannah, 16, and Sierra, 12, may have been in the vehicle and were swept out to sea.

The Harts, who immersed their children in alternative culture, left many friends and acquaintances with the impression of a happy family that emphasized love, unity and music. The crash happened just days after authorities in Washington state opened an investigation following allegations the children were being neglected.

Below is the famous photo of Devonte Hart.

Jennifer, her wife Sarah and three of their children were found dead after their vehicle plunged into the Pacific Ocean March 26.

A neighbor of the Harts in Woodland, Washington, had filed a complaint, saying the children were apparently being deprived of food as punishment. Then, in March, one of the Hart children began asking the DeKalbs for food, and claimed his mothers were withholding food. Soon after a CPS official visited the home, the Harts' SUV was gone.

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