Chief says video from inside minivan before Ogden crash is ‘graphic, disturbing and alarming’

OGDEN, N.Y. (WHEC) — A cell phone video taken by one of three young children riding in the back of the family minivan during a horrific crash that killed their father has led to a murder charge against their mother.

Jennie Clark of Ogden was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on a slew of criminal charges Thursday but the case was postponed to Friday. The mother of three young girls is charged with murder, reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated DWI in connection with a crash that killed her husband, Matthew Clark.

The Clarks and their three daughters, ages 8 to 13, had just left a friend’s party in Ogden.

“They were only a few minutes from home when this all happened,” said Ogden Police Chief, Chris Mears.

Chief Mears said Jennie Clark was driving when she crossed into the wrong lane, lost control of the van and hit a utility pole on Colby Street. Then, part of the pole split and fell onto the van, killing Matthew Clark.

When the responding officer arrived, Chief Mears says Jennie was visibly intoxicated.

“Other officers responding spoke to the girls who indicated that there was a video recording of the incident on one of their cell phones,” Mears said.

Jennifer Lewke (News10NBC) – Do you believe that the girls took the video because there was a fight happening in front of them and they were upset about it?

Chief Mears – Yeah, I think that’s safe to say. I think it was unfortunately some self-preservation on the part of the girls yeah.

Chief Mears won’t say exactly what was said between the Clarks on the recording only that it indicates a “depraved indifference to human life,” the requirement for a charge of murder in the 2nd degree.

“I will just say that the contents of that video are shocking, it’s graphic, it’s disturbing and it’s alarming,” Mears said.

Investigators believe that if the pole came down just two or three feet toward the rear of the van, the situation would have been even more tragic.

“Most of the officers that work here are parents, we have or had kids that age to see them in the situation where mom is in jail and dad is deceased they’re now living with family members, kind of isolated from their friends and they’re looking at possibly having to uproot and make new friends that’s traumatic for kids that age it’s tragic all the way around,” Chief Mears said.