Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Woman who drove SUV with family off cliff was drunk: polic

Woman who drove SUV with family off cliff was drunk: polic

Jennifer Hart was drunk when she drove the SUV carrying her wife, Sarah Hart, and their children off a cliff near Westport, according to officials from the California Highway Patrol and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Ukiah CHP Area Commander Bruce Carpenter also said that Sarah Hart's remains tested positive for "a significant amount" of diphenhydramine, an active ingredient found in the allergy medication Benadryl. Drivers are considered impaired if they have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher in California.

Jennifer Hart (l) and Sarah Hart (r), along with their three adopted children, were found dead after their auto plunged off a coastal cliff in California late last month. Three of the Hart children are still missing.

On Thursday, authorities concluded the vehicle was that of the Thottapilly family after recovering a number of personal items from the river.

By the next morning, the Harts had left town.

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They were last heard from the day before authorities received reports of a maroon Honda Pilot - the same color and make of the Thottapillys' SUV - submerging into the swollen river along US Highway 101 north of Leggett, according to local media reports. Then, in March, one of the Hart children began asking the DeKalbs for food, and claimed his mothers were withholding food. The friend was unable to reach her after that.

"'Yes, I'm upset. I'm afraid for my child", said Donisha Franklin, Heaven's mother.

It was March 27, four days after the disappearance, when the neighbor told the agency that she had seen the family leave.

Five members of an Indian-origin family, including three children, have been killed in South Africa when their home was allegedly petrol-bombed by an unidentified arsonist, police said.

Just three days before the crash, neighbors in Woodland, Washington called Child Protective Services about unusual meetings with their children.

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Merely weeks after the Hart family perished in a lethal plunge from an ocean overlook alongside the Pacific Coast Freeway in Northern California, rescuers had been in search of one different family feared to have pushed into water within the equivalent county.

The woman had not been formally identified but Allman earlier said the body was believed to have been one of the people in the auto.

The California Highway Patrol has also said the crash is thought to have been intentional.

There were no skid marks at the scene, Carpenter said.

Friday, in her first interview since her children died, Davis spoke with The Oregonian/OregonLive, describing her heartbreak, how she lost her kids, and how she'd gotten clean with the hope of one day getting them back.

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