California crash that killed Hart family believed by authorities to be intentional
Apr 03, 2018, 03:46
Court documents state California Highway Patrol investigators found no "acceleration marks, tire friction marks or braking furrow marks" at the scene.
While five family members were found dead, authorities said they were still searching for three other children in the Hart family who were believed to have been in the SUV during the crash.
Devonte, 15, Hannah, 16, and 12-year-old Sierra are still missing, but presumed dead.
Now, the latest court documents in the case question whether the crash was accidental. Neighbors told the Oregonian that the children asked them to hide food because they were punished with starvation when their moms said they misbehaved.
"While it has been documented that the auto was traveling at 90 miles per hour upon impact, it is not conclusive whatsoever", he added.
Allman said there is no reason so far to think the crash was intentional but also mentioned there were no skid marks or signs the driver braked as the GMC Yukon crossed a flat, dirt pull-off area, about 75 feet wide, where motorists on the Pacific Coast Highway often walk their dogs. "This is all based on preliminary information".
Authorities said the family left OR to escape intense scrutiny that began in 2014, when Devonte Hart was photographed sobbing in the arms of a white police officer in Portland, where people had gathered to support protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
"At this time, three children are still missing and could be in the ocean", said Baarts. DeKalb told HLN last Thursday that Devonte and one of his sisters had said they were not being properly treated.
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While Dekalb believes her call to CPS may have precipitated the tragic incident, law enforcement officials have yet to make that determination.
The Woodland Washington neighbor who tried to help the Hart children said word that the crash was likely intentional was not a shock to him. The image went viral and reportedly brought unwanted media attention to the family.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said the family may not have meant to stay away from home for long that day because many of their belongings, including a pet and some chickens, were still at their home.
Fox Portland affiliate KPTV this weekend reported police obtained a warrant to search the Harts' house for items such as a travel itinerary, bank and cell phone records, credit card statements, journals and possible suicide notes.
Investigators are continuing their search Sunday and are in touch with family and friends, Baarts said.
The agency was trying to get in touch after the "now deceased children were identified as potential victims of alleged abuse or neglect", according to a statement from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.
After the Friday visit, Child Protective Services tried to visit the family twice more, on Monday and Tuesday, to no avail, according to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. "They transformed these kids' lives".
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