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East Bay mother, daughter killed in Bodega Head crash that appears to have been accident, CHP says

The driver and passenger who were killed when their vehicle drove off a cliff at Bodega Head over the weekend have been identified by authorities as an East Bay mother and daughter.

Maria Teixeira, 64, and Elizabeth Correia, 41, both of Dublin, died Saturday morning after a silver Toyota RAV4 driven by Teixeira smashed through a log barrier bordering the parking lot and plunged approximately 100 feet off the cliff, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The women, both longtime school employees in the East Bay, died at the crash site.

Though investigators have not yet pinpointed the exact cause of the crash, an initial review points to the incident being an accident, said CHP Officer David deRutte, an agency spokesman.

Their SUV appeared to be headed toward a parking spot and did not accelerate prior to hitting the log barrier or going over the cliff, deRutte said.

Dozens of people were present at the promontory parking lot within Sonoma Coast State Park when the crash occurred. Witnesses described the car as moving at a safe speed as it traveled through the gravel lot, though investigators didn’t know exactly how fast the car was going as of Monday afternoon, deRutte added.

“”It looks very much accidental at this point but we’re still investigating the cause,“ deRutte said. ”What could have happened and why it happened.“

Correia was a first grade teacher in the Pleasanton Unified School District, where she taught for 16 years, according to a website shared by the first grade teachers at Lydiksen Elementary School.

Correia wrote about her excitement for the upcoming school year last summer in a teacher bio introducing herself to students.

“Whether we are learning remotely or in person, I know we will have a year full of learning, adventure and fun together,” she wrote.

Lydiksen Elementary School Principal Jacob Berg described Correia as an outstanding educator who prioritized her students above all else in her work.

“This is a devastating loss for our students and our community,” Berg said in an email. “Our thoughts are with her family at this time.“

Teixeira was the lead custodian at Montevideo Elementary School in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, where she worked for over 20 years, said Denise Jennison, a public information officer.

“Everyone on that campus adored her,” Jennison said. “She was a smiling, kind, reassuring presence to the staff, students and parents. She was very well loved and will be very missed.”

Correia and Teixeira’s relatives could not be reached by phone or email Monday afternoon.

Neither the Santa Rosa CHP nor the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, which runs the county’s coroner’s office and does next-of-kin notifications for people who die in the county, could provide information on Monday about why the pair were at the Sonoma Coast on Saturday.

The CHP is conducting a vehicle inspection to determine whether mechanical issues played a role in the crash, deRutte said. An autopsy of the women could also reveal whether Teixeira, the driver, experienced any medical issues before driving off the cliff, he added.

“That’s on the table as well,” deRutte said.

Investigators don’t suspect Teixeira was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, deRutte said.

You can reach Staff Writer Kaylee Tornay at 707-521-5250 or kaylee.tornay@pressdemocrat.com and Staff Writer Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or nashelly.chavez@pressdemocrat.com.

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