SAN FRANCISCO (CBSNews.com) — Authorities say five people were killed when a vehicle plunged about 100 feet off a cliff along Northern California’s scenic Pacific Coast Highway near Mendocino. The California Highway Patrol identified the victims Tuesday as two women and three children.
According to CBS affiliate KOIN-TV, one of the women is 39-year-old Jennifer Jean Hart of West Linn, Oregon, while the other woman is 39-year-old Sarah Margaret Hart from Alexandria, Minnesota. The names of the children have not been released, and it’s unclear what the relationship is between all of the victims.
In a report on the crash, the highway patrol said a 2003 GMC was driving south along Highway 1 Monday when it pulled into a dirt turnout along the road and for unknown reasons continued directly off the cliff. The vehicle landed on its roof on a large rock, killing all five.
A woman who owns a house near the scene told KOIN-TV the crash seemed strange because the turnoff is so large. So far it’s unclear what caused the crash.
The weather was reported as clear and drugs and alcohol were not considered factors.