Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Woman who drove SUV with family off cliff was drunk, police say

Woman who drove SUV with family off cliff was drunk, police say

The woman had not been formally identified but Mendocino County Sheriff Thomas Allman earlier said the body was believed to have been one of the people in the auto.

On Thursday, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said it had found belongings of the Thottapilly family, of Santa Clarita, as well as vehicle parts from their SUV about 14 miles down river from where investigators believe they rolled down an embankment.

Reports surfaced after the crash that Child Protective Services attempted to visit the family numerous times.

The driver was pulling into a pullout during heavy rains when the SUV went over the edge, according to Sheriff's officials.

The Klamath River and also a string of country and federal redwood parks lie to the north of where in fact the auto saw falling in the Eel River along Highway 101.

Searchers are looking for the missing family members and their vehicle which is believed to be submerged somewhere in the Eel River.

The SUV pulled onto a gravel turnout during a severe rainstorm, but parked too close to the river on the soft shoulder, and the ground gave way, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

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Between the two search days, the Swift Water Rescue Teams were able to cover approximately 12 miles of the Eel river, just north of the town of Leggett in California.

The missing were identified as Sandeep Thottapilly, 41; Soumya Thottapilly, 38; Siddhant Thottapilly, 12; and Saachi Thottapilly, 9.

"Some of these items were consistent with a Honda vehicle". Various personal items that the family was carrying during their vacation were also found. "Several items have been positively identified, by the family members, as belonging to the Thottapilly family", it said.

Sheriff deputies and the California Highway Patrol have been working since last week to locate and recover the vehicle.

That is the exact area at which a household of four which vanished within a road trip from Portland, Ore., with their property in Santa Clarita, Calif., will be last known to get already been, the San Jose Police Department advised the Associated Press.

Sandeep grew up in Surat city in Gujarat and settled down in the United States over 15 years ago.

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