Boy in viral 2014 protest photo under 8 family members to death in California cliff crash



SUV plunges off cliff in California, 6 persons within

Whole family dreaded death.

A boy caught in 2014, a photo with tears in his eyes, the embrace of a Portland police officer at a protest is one of the eight members of the family — including six children-killed when their SUV plunged into a ravine along the Northern coast of California.

Devonte Hart, 15, his five brothers and sisters and parents were pronounced dead Wednesday after the vehicle fell 100 feet from an ocean view on the Pacific Coast Highway, approximately 150 miles north of San Francisco, police said. The vehicle was found on Monday.

Devonte Hart, 12, was photographed at a rally in Portland, Ore. in November, 2015.


“We have every indication to believe that all six children were there,” Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said about the deadly crash. “We know that an entire family disappeared and perished during this tragedy.”

The bodies of Devonte, Hannah Hart, 16, and Sierra Hart, 12, are not localized. Markis Heart, 19, Jeremiah Hart, 14, and Abigail Hart, 14, were killed.

The parents of the children, Jennifer and Sarah Hart, both 39, were pronounced dead.

Devonte got national attention after a rally on Nov. 25, 2014 protest against police violence in Portland, Ore. Devonte had a “Free Hugs” sign, and a Portland police officer asked if he against the boy, who was 12 at the time. The emotional embrace, with tears visibly streaming down Devonte’s face, went viral and was called “the hug shared around the world.”

Devonte Hart looks on as then-Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to visit Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver, Wash.

(Stephanie Yao Long/The Oregonian via AP)


At the time, Jennifer Hart wrote on social media: “My son has a heart of gold, compassion beyond anything I have ever experienced, yet struggles with living fearlessly when it comes to the police…He wonders if someday when he no longer wears a ‘Free Hugs’ sign around his neck, as he was a fully grown black male, if his life is in danger for an ordinary man.”

Despite the outpouring of support for the “beautiful” picture, it also received negative attention because of the multiracial family with lesbian parents.

It is unclear why the vehicle went to an ocean overlook. California Highway Patrol, together with a specialized team of accident investigators are determining the cause of the crash. The family lived in a Forest, Wash., and found taking a planned short trip when the crash happened.

The police is still trying to determine what caused the vehicle to plunge off the cliff.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter via @bykatherinelam

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