Cops Reach Grim Conclusion in Family's Fatal Crash

Police say Noel Bankhead deliberately drove off cliff, killing herself and her 3 children
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2017 10:00 AM CDT
Cops: Mom Deliberately Drove Off Cliff With Kids
This June 2, 2016, file photo photo provided by the Ada County Sheriff's Office shows the retrieved SUV.   (Patrick Orr/Ada County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

Last year, a mother and her three children were killed in Idaho when their SUV went off a cliff. Now police in Ada County have added a jarring word to the crash: deliberate. The sheriff's office has concluded that 40-year-old Noel Bankhead intentionally drove her Land Rover off a cliff and into a reservoir while en route to the kids' school, reports USA Today. Bankhead died in the crash, along with daughters Gwyneth Voermans, 8, and Anika Voermans, 13, and son Logan Voermans, 11. Authorities didn't speculate about a motive, but they've officially ruled it a homicide-suicide.

Witnesses say Bankhead "slowed down, turned on to Spring Shores Road, positioned the car towards the cliff, and suddenly accelerated," per a release from the sheriff's office. The SUV plummeted more than 50 feet and sank in the reservoir below. No skid marks were found at the scene in Lucky Peak, and the coroner tells the Idaho Statesman that Bankhead suffered no medical emergency prior to going over the cliff, nor did toxicology tests reveal alcohol or drugs in her system. Bankhead had worked as a legal secretary and had been divorced for a few years. (More murder-suicide stories.)

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