Woman who drove SUV with family off Mendocino Co. cliff was drunk

Opelousas family loses home in early morning storms

The Hart family gained attention in 2014 after one of the children was photographed crying in the arms of a white police officer at a protest after the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

Members of the Hart family pictured at the annual celebration of "The Goonies" movie in Astoria.

The Washington woman behind the wheel of an SUV that went over a cliff in California, presumably killing an entire family of eight, was drunk at the time, California Highway Patrol said Friday.

Photo The Harts' vehicle was recovered off Highway 1, near Westport, Calif., on March 26.

Just days before the crash, the mothers had been reported to the state over allegations of abuse or neglect, according to a spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. The legal limit in California is.08%.

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. The office was still waiting on toxicology results from a third child.

Captain Carpenter in an email on Friday said the authorities were still looking at the crash as "a deliberate act", adding that the presence of alcohol would be a consideration in the investigation's final findings.

Sarah and Jennifer Hart and their six adopted children were believed to be in the family's SUV when it plunged off a cliff in Mendocino County, more than 160 miles north of San Francisco.


Investigators have not come up with a motive but say it appears the incident was intentional, The FBI is deploying their Behavioral Analysis Unit to assist and try to understand what happened.

The specific level was.10%, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said.

The bodies of three of the Hart's children were not found in the wreckage.

A body identified as African-American and female was found floating near the crash site on April 7.

The 31-metre drop killed the women, both 39, and their children Markis Hart, 19; Jeremiah Hart, 14; and Abigail Hart, 14.

The three other children, who were believed to have also been in the SUV when it went over the cliff, remained missing but were presumed killed, police have said.

The Harts moved to a home in Woodland, Washington, in mid-2017, neighbors said.

And authorities have said social services officials in OR contacted the West Linn Police Department about the family in 2013 while they were living in the area.

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