The speedometer of the SUV that hurtled over a cliff in California this past week, leaving at least five people dead, was “pinned” at 90 miles per hour, officials revealed over the weekend.
The car plunged about 100 feet off a cliff along the Pacific Coast Highway on March 26, leaving officials puzzled because the area of the dangerous road wasn’t directly next to the cliff. Many parts of the Pacific Coast Highway are considered dangerous, with few guardrails along the edge.
The SUV was driven into a large dirt turnout area but continued off the unbarricaded cliff, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Court documents state they found no “acceleration marks, tire friction marks or braking furrow marks” at the scene, KPTV reported.
Officials later identified the victims as two women and three children, all members of the Hart family. The family resided in Oregon before moving to Woodland, Washington State, last year.
Authorities believe three other children may have been carried out to sea.
Jennifer and Sarah Hart, the two women, are listed as adoptive parents of six children.
The information about the speedometer was included in a search warrant application for the home of the women, reported Fox 12.
The search warrant was served on Thursday, March 29, and included items such as a travel itinerary, bank records, and cell phone records.
Authorities also hunted for possible suicide notes. No details about the findings of the served warrants have been released as of yet.
— FOX 12 Oregon KPTV (@fox12oregon) March 31, 2018
Court documents stated that officials believe “a felony has been committed.”
Neighbors of the family in Woodland said they had contacted Child Protective Services after one of the adopted children came to their home begging for food for he and his siblings.
The Oregonian reported that the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services confirmed in a statement that a case was recently opened against the parents, identifying the children as “potential victims of alleged abuse or neglect.”
JUST IN: Washington State Dept. of Social Services says it opened Child Protective Services investigation into Hart family on March 23. Children, 3 of which are confirmed dead in a California crash, were identified as potential victims of abuse or neglect. https://t.co/6eDBvVbHFB pic.twitter.com/ve41p3X76V
— KATU News (@KATUNews) March 29, 2018
In 2011, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to abusing one of the children, Abigail, who was then six-years-old. The girl told officers that one of her parents hit her with a closed fist, shoved her head into a cold bath, and then hit her again.
In 2013, Oregon officers responded to a call at the home after a Department of Human Services referral.
The Hart family left their home on March 23, the same day employees with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services tried to contact them.