Cliff crash that killed family appears 'intentional,' authoritie

Data recovered from a crashed SUV shows it had been stopped on a flat, dirt pull-off area on a California coastal road when it suddenly sped off the steep cliff, landing on the rocks below.

Devonte, 15, Hannah, 16, and 12-year-old Sierra are still missing, but presumed dead.

Nobody reported seeing the crash, so authorities don't know exactly when or how it happened and it is unclear whether the three missing children were in the SUV when it fell 100 feet into the sea.

Greg Baarts, Acting Assistant Chief for CHP, Northern Division, confirmed that the speedometer of the Hart family's SUV, which was found crushed at the bottom of a California roadside cliff on Monday, March 26, was pinned at 90 miles per hour, but Baarts cautioned that finding is not conclusive because a full investigation still needs to be conducted.

The investigation continues, and a full inspection of the SUV is in process, said Acting Assistant CHP Chief Greg Baarts to reporters.

"Pure acceleration all the way", he said.

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There was no evidence to suggest the auto had been driving at an angle when it left the road, he said.

However, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman told KGW-TV that authorities have "every indication to believe" that all six children were inside at the time of the crash.

"To the best of my knowledge, there was not a suicide note found at the residence", Baarts added.

Clark County sheriff's Sgt. Brent Waddell told The Associated Press that the family lived in Woodland, Washington, and recently had a visit from Child Protective Services.

"The search for the additional three children belonging to the family continues both at the scene, through water rescue and recovery, and other locations including routes of travel", the California Highway Patrol said in a statement.

Police have said conditions at the house indicated that any trip would have been temporary.

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Sergeant Bret Barnum and Devonte Hart in 2014. "We can't tell you definitively what crime was committed".

Devonte, who is black, earned national attention when a photo of him at age 12 went viral. Devonte had been holding a sign offering "Free Hugs". Sarah and Jennifer Hart often took their children to festivals and other events, where they promoted unity and offered hugs. "I expected with the way things went from CPS getting called to where we are today-that was my expectation of what the outcome would be", said Bruce DeKalb Sunday evening.

The Washington Department of Social and Health Services said it tried unsuccessfully to contact the family on three occasions, first on March 23, three days before the crash, according to a statement.

The department said it had no history with the family.

One of the women who died when the SUV plunged off the cliff pleaded guilty to a domestic assault charge in 2011 after telling authorities "she let her anger get out of control" while spanking her 6-year-old adoptive daughter.

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