Jennifer Hart was intoxicated when she drove car over cliff

The children and wife also had high levels of a drug in Benadryl.


MENDOCINO Co., 4/13/18 — The results of a toxicology report preformed on the bodies of the Hart family, who died when their car went over a cliff, off Hwy. 1, indicate that the driver, Jennifer Hart, had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. They also indicate that Sarah Hart, her wife, had a significant amount of diphenhydramine, “an active ingredient in Benadryl” in her blood, as did two of the children.

Sheriff Tom Allman explained the findings of the toxicology report at a press conference today, and the information was later repeated in a press release.

The level of intoxication, .102, is above the California legal limit for driving of .08.

Here is our previous coverage:

Body found at Hart family crash site (updated)

And the press release:


On 04-13-2018 the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Division received preliminary BA/Toxicology analysis results connected to autopsies that were previously performed in connection with this case.

Those preliminary results showed Jennifer Hart had a .102 BAC (blood alcohol content) while Sarah Hart and two of the children had a positive toxicology finding in their blood for Diphenhydramine, an active ingredient in Benadryl.

The Coroner’s Division is still awaiting the BA/Toxicology analysis of the third child that was recovered on 03-26-2018. 

At this time the Coroner’s Division is not releasing the names of the children associated with these toxicology findings.     

The shoreline searches conducted on 04-12-2018 by patrol deputies were unsuccessful in locating any of the missing children (Hannah Hart, DeVonte Hart and Sierra Hart) or physical evidence associated with this investigation.

Searches of the Mendocino County coastline will continue with on-duty patrol deputies as calls for service allow.  Mendocino County Search & Rescue divers are preparing to be deployed to the area of the crash site once ocean conditions improve for safety reasons.  It is anticipated that ocean conditions will not improve for several days.

Future press releases will only be disseminated when significant developments occur or when large scale Search & Rescue Operations are scheduled.  The daily press release will be discontinued after today.  

Ongoing updates/photos will also be posted on the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office facebook page as information becomes available (

Due to the massive media attention related to this incident the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has been receiving an overwhelming amount of telephone calls and emails.  The massive number of inquires for information is hampering the routine daily operations of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

In an attempt to resolve this situation the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office will be sending out an electronic written press release each day at 9:00 AMhighlighting information from the previous day’s investigative work.

All telephone call and email inquires will be referred directly to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office press release page on our website.

Anyone wishing to subscribe to the Sheriff’s Office automated press release notification system can do so by visiting and by accessing the press release page on the website. 

Approved by: 
Captain Gregory L. Van Patten #1184″

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