Family Car Plunges Off Cliff in Northern California

Aytana Martinez, News Editor

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A family’s SUV plunged off an 100 foot cliff in Northern California. On March 27, a passerby just happened to notice a car upside-down at the bottom of a cliff. Investigators have found out that there were eight adults and children in the car, five found dead, and three still missing. The investigators are also unsure if the three children that are currently missing were in the vehicle when it plunged off. Deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s office are currently working to find the missing children.

The road beside the cliff had no fencing, increasing the risk of a car falling off. The pull-out was located on the side of the curvy road, giving travelers a place to stop and admire the view or to stretch their legs. Data from the SUV’s air bag module and software shows that the car may have stopped at the gravel pull-out and then accelerated off the road. Police say that the preliminary information suggested that the car may have been intentionally driven off.

Greg Baarts, acting assistant chief of the California Highway Patrol’s Northern Division, said that the preliminary data obtained from the SUV’s air bag module presented that the vehicle likely came to a stop on the pull-out roughly 70 feet away the cliff edge before accelerating off the cliff.

Baarts also confirmed in later reports that the speedometer was “pinned” at 90 miles per hour when the vehicle was found. That does not mean that the car was going that speed when it fell off, Baarts added. He also said that the speedometer could have been “unintentionally manipulated” during recovery efforts.

The two adult women in the car were Jennifer and Sarah Hart. They were both 38 years old. They had children present in the car when it fell off. Hannah, 16, Devonte, 15, and Sierra, 12, are the three children that are still missing. Some say that the children might have not even been in the car when it accelerated off. The police found scattered items at the bottom of a cliff, including a purse that may have belonged to one of the older women.

Due to the fact that nobody saw the crash until the SUV was already down the cliff, many people still have many questions about if it was intentional. For now, it’s a mystery that has only deepened.

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