Authorities Believe Fatal Car Crash Involving Devonte Hart And Siblings Was Intentional

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services told authorites they tried contacting the family the day the wreck was reported. 

Police now have reason to believe the deadly SUV crash involving the Hart family was intentional, with the parents at the center of child abuse claims just days before the crash.

Representatives from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) contacted Jennifer Jean Hart and Sarah Margaret Hart a number of times including the day their vehicle crashed in Mendocino County, Calif. on March 26. NBC News reports DSHS spokeswoman Norah West said Child Protective Services determined Markis, 19, Jeremiah and Abigail (14) were possible victims of child neglect or abuse.

The children along with Jen and Sarah were found dead in the vehicle. Three siblings Hannah, 16, Devonte, 15, and Sierra, 12, are feared dead with authorities still searching for their bodies. “Three children are still missing and could be in the ocean,” Assistant CHP Chief Greg Baarts told reporters.  “We are trying to determine a timeline, path of travel, and if there were any stops.”

CHP also shared findings from the GMC Yukon's on-board computer indicated the SUV stopped then began accelerating before hitting the rugged shorelines 70 feet below the highway. "Pure acceleration all the way," said CHP spokesman Cal Robertson.

The most recent report of possible child abuse stemmed from the Hart's neighbors Bruce and Dana DeKalb who called CPS after Devonte snuck over to their home begging for food. One of his sisters also went to the DeKalb's last year asking for help.  "They were all small," Bruce DeKalb said. "The one girl, who was 12, looked like she was 7. Both of her teeth were missing, front teeth. She said that she wanted us to take her to Seattle and [her parents] weren't treating her right and don't make her go back." He explained how the Harts "told us what we wanted to hear, life went on for another eight months, and here we are today." As previously reported, Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor domestic assault in Minnesota for beating one of her daughters, who was 6-years-old at the time.

Devonte captured the hearts of the nation when a photo of him hugging a police officer went viral in 2014. His "free hugs" mission was one supported by Jen and Sarah who led a lifestyle focused on love, spirituality and peace. The family were often staples at festivals catering to the spiritually and creatively inclined like the Beloved festival and the gathering for The Goonies' 30th anniversary in Astoria, Oregon. A video of Devonte hugging artist Xavier Rudd also caught a lot of attention after his viral photo.

“Just wanted to take a moment to personally thank you for capturing the video of my son, Devonte, with Xavier at Beloved," Jen said at the time. "I was shooting still photos, so I was hoping that a quality video would arise at some point.  This moment is forever etched on our hearts, and most likely anyone who was there to witness this raw human love. Devonte was wearing his ‘Free Hugs’ sign that he travels the country with.  He’s hugged thousands, sharing his love for all.  There is a long story behind the emotion and why this moment was so special for Devonte. Thank you for enabling everyone to live this moment again through your video. “

Police obtained a search warrant of family's home in Woodland, WA. where they confiscated an iPhone and MacBook laptop. They're also looking for bank statements and notes indicating any plans of suicide.

READ: Parents Of Devonte Hart Accused Of Child Abuse Before Fatal Car Crash

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

Tory Lanez Sued For Alleged Attack In Miami Nightclub

Tory Lanez is facing legal trouble over an alleged altercation that went down inside Miami’s LIV nightclub last year. Christopher “Prince” Harty, an up-and-coming artist and Miami promoter who appeared on Love & Hip-Hop: Miami claims that Lanez attacked him last November.

The onetime reality star alleges that Lanez, along with his entourage and security team, punched and attacked him in the nightclub. According to reports, Prince claims to have suffered blunt force trauma to his head, neck, and chest, in addition to contusions, bruises and anxiety, as a result of the incident. He is suing for unspecified damages.

“They backed me into a corner, and once I was there, they started stomping on me, jumping me,” he recalled to NBC Miami.

He believes that the friction stemmed from an Instagram post about music. “They felt that I was insinuating that they stole the record from me, and I was just like, no, I would never do that, that was never my intention. I had no issue with him at all.”

A portion of the incident was captured on cellphone video. Prince stated that he knew Lanez prior to the run-in, and helped get him into clubs before.

His attorney, Marwan Porter of Porter Law Firm, called the violent incident “a chronic problem” with Lanez who is accused of shooting Megan Thee Stallion in July. The 28-year-old recording artist has yet to publicly address either incident.

Hear more from Prince in the video below.

Continue Reading
Prince Williams/Wireimage via Getty Images

Cardi B Opens Up About Filing For Divorce From Offset

Cardi B took to Instagram Live on Friday (Sept. 18) to air out a few things about filing for divorce from Offset.

The Bronx rapper made it clear that she didn’t file for divorce as a publicity stunt to promote her upcoming album. “I’m not doing it for clout and on top of that I don’t need stunts to sell music,” she said. “I’m not [trying to] brag but don’t ever say I’m doing anything for clout. My first album is three-times platinum and I didn’t need no stunts to do that. My [“Wap”] single is no. 1 worldwide why would I need stunts to sell music? I don’t need stunts — [especially] when it comes to family — to sell anything, so don’t play yourself.”

As for the reason for the divorce filing, the estranged couple simply grew apart. “Nothing crazy out of this world happened, sometimes people really do grow apart. I been with this man for four years. I have a kid with this man, I have a household with this man…sometimes you’re just tired of the arguments and the build up. You get tired sometimes and before something happens, you leave.”

“I just wanna' be a free bird,” Cardi said after questioning whether people secretly want infidelity to be the reason for the split.

“I am the f**king clout,” she added. “I never needed anything. I never needed no stunts to sell sh*t.Why would I need anything to sell my next album?”

Speaking of the new album, Cardi has been indecisive about choosing her next single because “WAP” did so well. “That means that my second single has to be even better.”

Towards the end of her venting session, Cardi reiterated that she’s focusing on her work, and revealed that she's starting new business for her daughter Kulture.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by HIPHOLLYWOOD (@hiphollywood) on Sep 18, 2020 at 10:23pm PDT

Continue Reading
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Barack Obama Announces Release Date For ‘A Promised Land’ Memoir

Following the mega-success of his wife’s Becoming release, Barack Obama is poised to debut his own memoir, A Promised Land, this fall. The former president made the literary announcement on Twitter on Thursday (Sept. 17).

“There’s no feeling like finishing a book and I’m proud of this one,” Obama tweeted while explaining that he tries to give an “honest account” of his presidency in the book. The release will also touch on “the forces we grapple with as a nation, and how we can heal our division and make democracy work for everybody.”

There’s no feeling like finishing a book, and I’m proud of this one. In 'A Promised Land,' I try to provide an honest accounting of my presidency, the forces we grapple with as a nation, and how we can heal our divisions and make democracy work for everybody. pic.twitter.com/T1QSZVDvOm

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 17, 2020

The highly anticipated and introspective release takes readers on a “compelling journey” and details Obama’s “improbable odyssey from a young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world.” Included in the memoir are striking personal details about his political education, as well as landmark moments from his first term presidency.

The Obamas secured the reported $60 million book deals around a year after ending their tenure in the White House. Michelle Obama’s book became the best-selling memoir in history.

A Promised Land is currently available for pre-order at Obamabook.com. The memoir will be released on Nov. 17.

Continue Reading

Top Stories