Sheriff’s Office Releases Names of People Who Died in Monday’s Highway 1 Crash

vehicle crash near the ocean

The GMC landed near the ocean. [Photo from Mendocino Sports Plus–See more here.]

This is a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office:

Location: California State Highway 1 at Mendocino County Road 430, Westport CA 95448

Date of Incident: 03/26/2018

Time: 3:38 PM

Victim(s): Confirmed Deceased:

Jennifer Jean Hart, 38 years of age, Woodland, Washington
Sarah Margaret Hart, 38 years of age, Woodland Washington
Markis Hart, 19 years of age, Woodland Washington
Jeremiah Hart, 14 years of age, Woodland Washington
Abigail Hart, 14 years of age, Woodland Washington

Missing Persons:

Devonte Hart, 15 years of age, Woodland Washington
Hannah Hart, 16 years of age, Woodland Washington
Sierra Hart, 12 years of age, Woodland Washington

On 3/26/2018 around 4:16 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched the area of Highway 1 at County Road 430, also called Juan Creek, in Westport regarding a traffic accident involving multiple fatalities.  The incident had been reported to fire officials and the California Highway Patrol around 3:38 PM, after a passerby used a pullout along the road and observed the vehicle off the embankment, upside down on the rocky shoreline.

While the Sheriff’s Office was enroute to the call it was learned there were possibly two adult females, two juvenile males, and one juvenile female deceased at the scene. The Sheriff’s Office initiated a Coroner’s Investigation.  First responders continued recovery efforts until well after midnight.  On 3/27/2018 around 0800 hours the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the identity of the two adult females as Jennifer and Sarah Hart, a married couple who had previously resided in West Linn Oregon.  It was later learned the decedent’s had 6 adopted children.

After learning of three additional children who were unaccounted for, the Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, and the United States Coast Guard out of Fort Bragg CA immediately initiated a second search and rescue effort in the Ocean waters where the accident occurred.  The California Highway patrol launched a fixed wing airplane and a helicopter, the Coast Guard launched a rescue boat in the area, while the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to search the beach areas along the Highway.

One of the unaccounted for children was Devonte Hart, who drew wide media attention in 2014, after having been photographed hugging a Portland Oregon Police Sergeant during a demonstration related to the events related to the unrest in Ferguson Missouri.  The Sheriff’s Office reached out to the Portland Oregon Police Department and learned the family, due to intense media coverage, may have moved from Oregon.  The family was tracked to a Woodland Washington address where, with assistance from the Clark County Washington Sheriff’s Office, the family home was checked and the three outstanding children were not located.  The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was advised by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office it appeared the family may have left for a temporary trip as there were many family belongings still in the home as well as a pet and some chickens.

On 3/28/2018 the three younger decedent’s have been positively identified with the help of family members.  They are Markis Hart 19 years of age, Jeremiah Hart 14 years of age, and Abigail Hart 14 years of age.  The three children who are still missing are Devonte Hart 15 years of age, Hannah Hart 16 years of age, and Sierra Hart 12 years of age.  At this time it is unknown if the missing children accompanied their parents on the trip to Mendocino County or if they might be staying with friends.

On 3/28/2018 the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office by sending 6 Deputies trained in the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), used for search and rescue incidents, to assist with combing the coastline in an effort to locate the three missing children.  So far the ocean conditions have not allowed the use of rescue/recovery divers in the search efforts.  The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team has diver’s on standby if the ocean conditions improve.

The cause of this accident is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Ukiah Office.  All media inquiries related to the accident are being directed to the CHP at 707-467-4420.  The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the Coroner’s Investigation, on going search and rescue operations, and the investigation related to the three children who are unaccounted for.  Questions related to this can be directed to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office at 707-463-4086.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the California Highway Patrol, the Portland Oregon Police Department, the Clark County Washington Sheriff’s Office, the Grant County South Dakota Sheriff’s Office, the Huron City South Dakota Police Department, the Cowlitz County Department of Social Services, and the Alameda County California Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this case.

Crime/Incident: Coroner’s Investigation, Continuing Search and Rescue Efforts

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54 comments

  • Loco is going nuts over the updates to this very tragic incident. I hope the missing children are with family or friends and not lost to the sea. Heartbreaking. May the investigators and searchers find the missing.

    • That’s nothing new loco is a shit hole, there hypocritical one sided and on topics that are sensitive to the community there reporters post on there as Anonymous people just to stir up crap
      But back to reality this story is so sad and it seems it’s going in a direction that might make it even more unbelievable

  • Leave the two foster parents buckled up asses where they lay.

    • Lone ranger is an ASS

      What the hell is wrong with you, [edit]!

      • I agree with Lone Ranger. Those women were cruel and evil. Poor kids had to put up with their insanity.

      • So you condone putting your seat belt on, but letting your kids leave theirs off, I hope your not a parent.What is wrong with you?

    • I’m not exactly sure what you intend but that reads very ugly. Do you have more information?

      • There’s an article in the Portland Oregonian that gives more info on the family.

        • I’ve read those articles including visits by child protective care due to complaints of child neglect and abuse. I have this to say- We know nothing. They had moved into a new house in a new place in Washington state. The parents were 2 white women and the adopted children were black. So any bigot or racist within 50 miles would be finding some way to hurt them and reporting child abuse would be one easy way to do that. So I say we have zero room to judge these poor dead people. May they all rest in peace.

          • This is what I know ,and all I need to know, the turnout that they were on is parking lot,if someone drove off the edge there, it was intentional.

            • You’re just Trolling… stop it.

              That particular turn-out was a tragic accident waiting to happen, it almost happened to me at the same spot a decade ago.

              Proceeding North at the lawful speed limit and entering that turn-out without slowing down before reaching the gravel barely allows enough space to stop without skidding over the cliff because of the vehicles momentum and it’s downhill.

              CalTrans should place large boulders there to prevent another terrible accident like this one.

              • You hit the speed limit on that road, you must have a super car, or you need to go back to drivers ed,especially if you can’t judge how much distance you need to stop safely

              • I love that turnout. Last epic view northbound before the road turns inland at Rockport. Looking up along the Lost Coast and out across that ocean takes my breath away. Extreme drop off… Yes- some large boulders might prevent an accident.

  • Lone Ranger: you’ve never heard of anyone accidentally stepping on the gas pedal instead of the brakes? I have.

  • The article I read said the investigation for abuse/neglect was in I believe Michigan. Also something about one of the women being investigated/arrested for domestic violence/abuse. I gave this a cursory read so didn`t remember it very well.

    This certainly isn`t — or wasn`t — your normal family. I.e., a man who is the father; woman who is the mother, and they produce the children the old fashioned way. These are pretty odd ducks, to say the least. Not to say they`d intentionally drive off a cliff. However, a bit of looking at who these people are might prove interesting. I wonder how they supported all those children?

    • Life is good OG

      Odd ducks because they were a lesbian couple who adopted kids? Unless I’m reading your words wrong I think you are a little narrow minded. But like I said I could be misinterpreting what you have said.

      • Let’s be real here OK! Two white lesbians adopt 6 black kids/teenagers. Sorry, but that’s odd AF! I could see adopting 1-3 kids. But 6? And all black? Ya, weird AF! Sorry but For Real!

    • Uh maybe you need to come on out of the old testament and join the redt of us out here in the 21st century.
      Having two moms or two dads or a mixture of whatever works is pretty normal these days. Who cares???? They adopted 6 children, and im sure they had jobs. Being a lesbian doesnt negate working, just fyi.

      Ive seen way more “mom&dad” born again christian type families who snort meth and beat their kids so if you wanna stereotype lets go there….
      Or you could conject about the other incident on hwy 1 where 2 men got into a fight over road easement and one hit the other with a shovel and the other shot mr shovel man. That’s no biggie because theyre married to women?

      There are a lot of conflicting reports being published and the reality is its really none of our business. This is a terrible tragedy regardless!

    • Jonathan Dowe mused: “This certainly isn`t — or wasn`t — your normal family. I.e., a man who is the father; woman who is the mother, and they produce the children the old fashioned way.”

      Jonathan Dowe mused: “I wonder how they supported all those children?”

      OMG!, LOL!, ROTFLOL!, you are sooooooooo precious!

      Yo! Jonathan, welcome to the World of Diversity, where people can live their lives as they wish, not under some Patriarchal authority like you clearly suffer under.

      I wonder if you would post those sketchy comments if you weren’t so clearly a judgemental zealot of some flavor.

      Those people are DEAD, show some respect, pilgrim!

    • Muddy Black Dodge

      Odd ducks, you say. Doesn’t sound all that odd to me. Lesbian couple with six kids. What’s your big problem??? Hope the missing kids are with family and or friends. They must be, no way they had 6 kids and two adults in a 4 door truck.

      • Might be why the kids weren’t wearing seatbelts, but seatbelts would not have helped at all in this case, only a parachute would

  • Yea well things obviously werent working out for them and obviously had bad some serious mental health issues, gays can addopt and murder 6 black kids but thats normal in 21st centry, and the rest of the country protest ti take guns away!!!! Lmfao this country is fucked!!!

    • Muddy Black Dodge

      People like you are the real problem.

    • Humboldt Hillsman

      There is zero evidence to suggest murder at this point. And their sexual orientation would be an irrelevant fact even if it were murder. FYI nobody is marching to take your guns, people are marching because they are demanding that the government step up and do something about mass shootings preformed by people who probably shouldn’t have had guns in the first place.

  • Guest Guestofferson

    The six adopted kids could have been blood siblings. It is common to adopt groups of siblings so as not to further break up the family.

  • Everything mentioned in various articles could be innocent or damning. No one knows for sure. One thing for sure is it raises questions. Both accusers and defenders are arguing from their own angry biases, knowing no more than anyone else.

    What if there were horrible things going on in the family, like that “normal” family recently in the news who were starving their children? What if political correctness allowed abuse to go on in this one too because it is assumed that bigotry is the only reason for raising questions? Never questioning means never helping if help was needed.

    Asking questions is rarely wrong if the ultimate answers are accepted even if they go against the questioner’s bias. It’s all an opportunity to grow.

    • In my opinion you get the award for the comment that makes the most sense about today’s society, there are a lot of fucked-up families in this country this one just happens to be a couple of lesbians with a bunch of black kids. I’m sure there’s more to this story that will come out, the reality is it’s a very very sad situation

  • This is a tragic situation no matter which way you slice it.

    I guess this situation could be considered “normal” for about 4% of the population.

    http://news.gallup.com/poll/183383/americans-greatly-overestimate-percent-gay-lesbian.aspx

    http://www.pbs.org/weta/washingtonweek/blog-post/lgbt-america-numbers

    And also, in that less than 4% of the population, domestic violence seems to be more of an issue.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29994648

    Also in these “normal” situations, it seems to affect the children more.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4771005/

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/kids-of-gay-parents-fare-worse-study-finds-but-draws-fire-from-experts/

    Love is a wonderful thing, it is of my opinion that a person should be able to love whoever they want to. And if you love that person enough to spend the rest of your life with, why not be able to marry and enjoy the benefits that come with marriage? But the statistics alone proves that it’s not really “normal”.

  • There is a lot of very interesting information in this article from Oregon Live

    http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/03/hart_family_deadly_crash_a_tim.html:

  • Important stuff from the Oregon Live site listed above.
    Sounds like there was trouble in the family.

    March 23, 2018: The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services opens a Child Protective Services investigation in which the Hart children are “identified as potential victims of alleged abuse or neglect.”

    March 23, 2018: The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services attempts without success to make contact with the Hart family.

    March 26, 2018: The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services again unsuccessfully attempts to make contact with the Hart family.

    March 26, 2018: A passer-by along Highway 1 in Westport, California, calls 911 after looking down a 100-foot embankment and seeing an SUV upside down on the rocky shoreline. Five people are found dead: three children outside the SUV and two women inside.

    • JustWantToHeartheEndoftheStory

      Excellent summary, Bozo. Facts are facts, let everyone decide on their own. The Fact that no skid marks were found, no attempts to brake, is rather indicative it was an intentional act. The children are the victims, the parents, no matter what their orientation, are not.

  • unbridled phillistine

    harsh comments today! Maybe getting unbuckled to get out for picture and kid bumps stick out of gear and oops forgot to set e brake? Just as likely of story as the rest of your guys? But I do not believe in coincidence and those welfare checks are a big red flag… Sad. Better find those other children and fast.

    • The selector is on the column, and it won’t come out of gear without the key in the on position, next

  • Breakthesilence

    I am not surprised at the bold excuse-making and Rose-colored glasses wearing apologists for what on the face of it appears to be a deliberate murder/suicide. No shock at all. In fact I have come to accept it . That is our culture. Too many asshole abusers and murderers are endlessly coddled and their behavior excused or explained away, while the legit victims of abuse (and murder!) are shunned and their experience doubted. We have so far to go

  • authorities closing in on bizarre treatment of adoptees. they pulled a Thelma and Louise. Why are the investigators so republican stupid and denying?

  • Child abuse issues in their former state of residence, and then again in their new city–Kinda ironic that child protection services were at their house the day before, due to reports from their neighbors, and the adult female refuses to answer the door, and do not respond to the paper work left at the door–the very next day the whole of them take off, and are all found at the bottom of a cliff.
    Coincidence? I think not.
    The Turpin family taught the first lesson in false-posed appearances.

  • Breakthesilence

    Kym . Gruesome update..
    http://www.kgw.com/mobile/article/news/local/speedometer-of-hart-family-suv-pinned-at-90-mph-report-says/283-533859540

    Jen Hart shiny outside psychopath at her heart.

    Two missing /dead? dogs too.

      • The evidence of an unstable and dangerous personality is mounting. There is a point at which it is no longer “speculation” by outsiders that is the problem.

      • Breakthesilence

        Oh Kym…. The fog of a narcissist is thick.

        And of course in my deep search on that nutjob and her wife and family I had already come across and read that letter “from the one friend …”

        I’m not going to waste time addressing the pompom shaking friend trying to dismiss the troubling details that have emerged in this nightmare. Truth is, the fans of assholes always think they are flawless and amazing.

        Additionally, her letter is rife with gaslighting, and deflection. Drawing the discussion away from the facts : which is that there was something way off in that household ( who defends a parent that withholds food? ) and in the end the cost was a violent loss of multiple lives. While many articles address it the fact they were lesbian and adopted at risk black children few commentors address it or assign any negative attention to it. Why does the writer need to go there? Because she has nothing but the blind allegiance to her “friend.”

        Look, my post dealt with the reality (backed by CHP investigation) that the speedo was pegged at 90mph when that family packed SUV plunged off the turnout into the Pacific Ocean. And it validated to my initial suspicion that Jen Hart was a controlling narc.

        Only a psychopathic, self centered creep pulls a stunt like that taking her spouse , likely all 6 children and (possibly) the 2 family dogs with her.

        Ever watch a single murder/crime show?

        The criminals are habitually described with words like charming , perfect, loving, nice, caring and helpful. That’s how they secure supply. And that is the mask that hides the narcissists need for control, and supply..

        It’s when their perfect facade starts to crumble (CPS encroaching , maybe Sarah asked for divorce, maybe adult children actually wanted autonomy…) that the real dark temper and need for absolute control emerges.

        Hense end result murder /suicide .

        I don’t care how fucking hippy vegan nice caring protest marching adopter a person is, if in the end they pull this kind of stunt. Because it makes every other act just that.. an act.

        • Of course, if it what you say is true, then I agree. And there are certainly troubling pieces of information including that the vehicle was going 90 mph. But, I still want to know more before I assign blame.

          • Breakthesilence

            Well, the speedo pegged at 90mph doesn’t necessarily correlate to actual vehicle speed on that dirt turnout. If Jen had it to the floorboards when they launched off the edge, the wheels would continue turning and in fact pick up speed dramatically when free spinning in the airborne portion of her lame choice.

            P.s. Someone with mad math skills crunched the numbers over in the thunderdome and claimed that the 6000 pound SUV launched in the end 20ft from edge so apparently
            had to be going 60mph.

  • Breakthesilence

    Pure acceleration all the way,” said CHP spokesman Cal Robertson.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna861876

    All the believers and defenders for this (“loving”) bully can now be mind boggled. Evil exists .

  • Life is good OG

    Imagine the terror these children may have felt. So friggen sad.

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