A California mom who died alongside her daughter when their SUV plunged over a coastal cliff along the Pacific Ocean didn’t appear to hit the brakes, officials said.
Maria Teixeira, 64, was seen driving with her daughter, Elizabeth Correia, 41, through a parking lot without stopping Saturday in Bodega Bay before hitting a wooden barrier and flying to the rocks below, California Highway Patrol Officer David de Rutte said
“Witnesses saw the vehicle driving through the parking lot — and it just kept driving,” de Rutte said. “It didn’t stop. There was no accelerating but also no braking.”
De Rutte said the cause of the crash is stil under investigation.
Authorities are still working to determine if the crash was accidental or intentional, he said.
Both women were found dead when rescuers reached the SUV, which had landed on its roof on the rocks about 100 feet below on the beach.
Correia was a first grade teacher at Lydiksen Elementary School, while her mother was a lead custodian at Montevideo Elementary.
The communities at both their schools mourned the mother-daughter duo.
“Our hearts go out to Elizabeth Correia’s family and our Lydiksen community,” Pleasanton Unified School District said in a statement to KPIX. “Elizabeth touched the lives of many of her students and colleagues.”
Montevideo Elementary Principal Katie Witt wrote a letter to parents and faculty in which she remembered Teixeira as a “wonderful part of our school community.”
“For years, Mrs. Maria was a fixture in our community. She could be found on our campus every day doing whatever needed to be done to serve the community,” the principal said.