Friends react to Woodland family’s deadly California crash as ne - KPTV - FOX 12

Friends react to Woodland family’s deadly California crash as new details emerge

Posted: Updated:
Photo: Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Photo: Mendocino County Sheriff's Office
WOODLAND, WA (KPTV) -

Friends are using words like “tragedy” and “devastating” as new details emerge in the investigation of a Woodland family’s deadly crash on the California coast.

The California High Patrol reported that the crash off a cliff in Mendocino County last week that killed Jennifer Jean Hart, Sarah Margaret Hart and at least three of their adopted children may have been an intentional act.

Investigators said information pulled from the couple’s SUV showed it had stopped off the highway before accelerating straight off the cliff. There were no tire friction marks, dirt prints from the tires or skid marks at the scene and the SUV’s speedometer was pinned at 90 mph at impact, indicating to police it was running and in motion just prior to hitting the rocks.

“It is a tragedy upon tragedy,” said family friend, Melissa Rogers.

Rogers, of Bend, knew the Harts for four years and said it’s hard to make sense of the latest revelations from investigators.

“If you would have asked me two weeks ago, I would have told you they were such a standout family, they adopted these children, they tried to provide the best possible life for them,” Rogers said.

A Mendocino County Sheriff's Office spokesman said authorities believe at least one felony was committed in connection with the crash, but declined to comment further.

Deputies said Jennifer and Sarah Hart were pronounced dead at the scene, along with three of their adopted children. Their other three adopted children were believed to be in the car, but they have not yet been located.

Neighbors in Woodland told FOX 12 last week they contacted Child Protective Services when one of the children, 15-year-old Devonte Hart, came to their home begging for food for himself and his siblings.

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services released a statement last week confirming a case was opened regarding the family last Friday, as “the now-deceased children were identified as potential victims of alleged abuse or neglect.”

A Mendocino County Sheriff's Office spokesman said authorities believe at least one felony was committed in connection with the crash, but declined to comment further.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.