BODEGA BAY, Calif. (AP) – Dozens of people on the popular Northern California coast overlooked as their SUVs drove through a parking lot without braking, then jump off a cliff into the rocks below. Killed two women, researchers said Monday.
California Highway Patrol Officer David de Rutte said the cause of the crash this weekend was still under investigation. Early testimony said the vehicle passed a barrier in a large parking area on Bodega Bay’s Head Trail before it fell off a cliff.
“Witnesses saw this car drive through a parking lot ̵1; and it kept driving,” Derratt said. “It didn’t stop, it didn’t accelerate, it didn’t brake.”
Researchers are still trying to determine if the crash was accidental or deliberate, he said.
Both women were found dead when rescuers brought in a Toyota SUV parked on a roof about 30 meters (30 m) below rocks.
The driver, Maria Teixeira, 64, and passenger Elizabeth Correia, 41, were both from the San Francisco Bay Area in Dublin about 160 kilometers south of the incident.
The Mercury News reports. They are mothers and daughters, both of whom are employees of the Bay Area public schools, according to relatives and sheriff’s staff.Teixeira is the chief carer at Montevideo Elementary in nearby San Ramon, and Correia is a grade teacher at Lydiksen Elementary in Pleasanton
Erin Aitken, Teixeira’s teacher and former colleague, struggles like many who know her to make sense of this mistake.
“She is a nice and warm person. She smiles and is very happy. She helps everyone, ”Aitken says, remembering how proud Teixeira was when her daughter became a teacher.“ She was a huge cheerleader for her kids and she obviously loved being around the kids. ”
Correia’s biography on the school website says she teaches in Pleasanton, where she has been growing up since 2005.
“She enjoys teaching reading, music, art, Disneyland movies and spending time with friends and family,” the website says.
The crash came on Saturday as hikers and beach hikers flock to the scenic Pacific Ocean to take advantage of the clear weather on Easter weekend.