Car Did Not Brake Before Plunging Down Calif. Cliff and Killing Mom and Daughter, Witnesses Say

Rachel DeSantis
·2 min read

Facebook (2) (L-R) Maria Teixeira, Elizabeth Correia

The SUV carrying a California mother and her daughter did not brake before it plummeted nearly 100 feet off a scenic overlook cliff on Saturday afternoon, witnesses told investigators.

Officer David deRutte of the California Highway Patrol confirms to PEOPLE that those who saw the accident at Bodega Bay's Head Trail said that the Toyota drove through a wooden barrier, and did not accelerate, but did not stop before it fell.

"Witnesses saw the vehicle driving through the parking lot — and it just kept driving. It didn't stop. There was no accelerating but also no braking," deRutte told the Associated Press.

The Easter weekend accident killed Elizabeth Correia, 41, and Maria Teixeira, 64, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office previously confirmed to PEOPLE.

The pair were mother and daughter who both lived in Dublin, and both worked at local schools; Correia was a first-grade teacher at Lydiksen Elementary in Pleasanton, and Teixeira was lead custodian at Montevideo Elementary in San Ramon, the Mercury News reported.

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deRutte says the crash is "still very much under investigation," and that officials will complete a vehicle inspection to see if it was working properly.

"There are still many possibilities for the cause, including pedal confusion and medical emergency," he says.

Correia had worked as an educator in Pleasanton since 2005, and was a graduate of California State University, East Bay, according to her teacher biography at Lydiksen. The page said she enjoyed teaching, reading, music, art, movies, Disneyland and spending time with friends and family.

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"She was just a warm, good person, she was so smiley and happy," Erin Aitken, a teacher and former colleague of Correia's, told the AP. "She helped everybody. She was a big cheerleader for her kids. And she clearly loved being around children."

The upcoming PPIE Pleasanton Run for Education on April 18 will now be run in her honor, according to a Facebook page.

"Please help us honor the late Elizabeth Correia beloved friend, family member, and teacher by signing up to do the PPIE Pleasanton Run for Education in her honor. She was loved by many and will be missed dearly," the page reads. "Two of her loves were 5k's and Disney so we invite you to wear something Disney related while you participate."