Wife drives family off California cliff

Investigator details events preceding SUV crash over cliff

An investigator says that soon before her wife drove their family off a cliff, Sarah Hart researched whether it was relatively painless to die by drowning.

The California Highway Patrol investigator testified about the searches Thursday in Mendocino County.

A special coroner’s jury is trying to determine whether the March 2018 deaths of the couple and their six adopted children were murder-suicide or accidental. Authorities have called the deaths intentional, but want a jury to decide.

READ MORE: Police ID woman, 32, as victim in broad daylight Lower Mainland shooting

Jake Slates said at the inquest that Jennifer Hart, who rarely drank, was extremely intoxicated and may have been “drinking to build up her courage.”

Sarah Hart and the children had high amounts of Benadryl in their systems.

The crash happened days after Washington state authorities began investigating whether the children were being neglected.

READ MORE: Dog, missing for weeks, rescued from cliff near Castlegar

Janie Har, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maple Ridge redirects $225,000 from RCMP to community safety needs

A new manager and two community safety officers join a team patrolling the city’s downtown streets

Mayors welcome rideshare expansion into Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

Maple Ridge Return-It centre serves as pilot for new beverage recycling effort

Haney Bottle Depot will be part of a six-month trial where consumers don’t have to sort their cans

Foundation seeks to bring ‘meaningful’ art to Hammond

Asking Maple Ridge residents for suggestions on design and theme for two large community murals

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read