Police: Jennifer Hart was drunk at time of crash; wife, kids had Benadryl ingredient in system

KPTV file image of deadly crash site in Mendocino County, California.

Skeletal remains, along with jeans and a shoe, were found near the crash site on the California coast where the Hart family from Woodland died in March.

Mendocino County deputies responded to the area of North Highway 1 and Hardy Creek in Westport at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.

A pair of jeans was found on the beach with a shoe entangled inside a pant leg. Deputies said the jeans are a girl’s size 10 regular and the shoe appeared to be a 3 ½ “big kid” size or a 5 ½ women’s size.

Deputies said skeletal remains of what appeared to be a human foot were found inside the shoe. The remains will be submitted for DNA testing.

On Thursday, search crews responded to the location where the remains were found, which is about one mile north of where the Hart family crashed off a cliff on March 26.

An assessment of the ocean and terrain will be conducted for the planning of future search operations.

Investigators said Jennifer and Sarah Hart, along with three of their adopted children, were pronounced dead immediately after the crash scene was discovered. The couple’s three other children were believed to also be in the car, as well, but they were not immediately found.

Another body was later found and confirmed to be 12-year-old Ciera Hart through DNA analysis.

Devonte Hart, 15, and Hannah Hart, 16, remain missing.

On Thursday, deputies said toxicology analysis showed three of the children tested positive for diphenhydramine in their blood. Diphenhydramine is an active ingredient in Benadryl. The other child had no toxicology finding, according to the sheriff’s office.

Investigators previously said Jennifer Hart, the driver, was drunk, with a blood-alcohol content of .102 at the time of the crash.

Reports of possible abuse and neglect involving the Hart children have emerged as the investigation has unfolded. The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services opened a Child Protective Services investigation of the family days before the crash.

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