Mother, daughter killed after SUV plunges off cliff

Bodega Bay firefighters work to secure the scene of a crash after a vehicle plummeted from the Bodega Head parking lot in Bodega Bay, California, through a wood barrier, left, landing upside down 100 feet to the rocky shoreline, killing two people in the SUV, on Saturday.
Bodega Bay firefighters work to secure the scene of a crash after a vehicle plummeted from the Bodega Head parking lot in Bodega Bay, California, through a wood barrier, left, landing upside down 100 feet to the rocky shoreline, killing two people in the SUV, on Saturday.

Credit: Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP

Credit: Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP

A mother and her adult daughter were killed over the weekend after their SUV plummeted off a cliff in California and landed upside down along a rocky shoreline more than 100 feet below.

Maria Teixeira, 64, and Elizabeth Correia, 41, were pronounced dead Saturday morning after Teixeira drove through a wooden barrier at a nature trail parking lot in Bodega Bay, about 70 miles north of San Francisco.

ExploreONE YEAR AGO: Socialite friends who died together in car were found embraced in back seat, reports say

Nearly a dozen bystanders witnessed the fatal accident but the circumstances were unclear, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The Toyota SUV entered the gravel lot and “was driving at a normal speed. It was driving toward the cliff and didn’t stop,” said CHP spokesman David deRutte. “There was no acceleration and no braking,”

ExploreLAST WEEK: Parents of 5 children killed after giant redwood tree crushes car

The vehicle came to rest on its roof.

An investigation is continuing to look into what caused the tragedy, and authorities say Teixeira may have experienced a medical emergency at the time of the crash.

ExploreFEBRUARY: Large chunk of Highway 1 collapses into Pacific Ocean

Both victims were from the San Francisco Bay suburb of Pleasanton and worked at elementary schools — Correia as a first-grade teacher and Teixeira as a custodian, The San Jose Mercury News reported.

One of Correia’s colleagues, first-grade teacher Tracie Culpepper, called her a dedicated teacher with compassion for her students.

“She was my person, and I was hers,” Culpepper told the newspaper. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.”

The principal at Montevideo Elementary, where Teixeira worked, described her as a “fixture in our community,” the Mercury News reported.

“She could be found on our campus every day doing whatever needed to be done to serve the community. Wherever there were people, wherever there was an activity, wherever there was someone who needed help, Mrs. Maria was there and willing to help.”

In Other News