KEY POINTS

  • The vehicle entered an open lot that had no parking spaces
  • The speed of the vehicle stayed consistent as it headed for the cliff
  • The passengers were identified as Maria Teixeira and Elizabeth Correia
  • Why Teixeira kept driving even after ramming through a barrier is unclear

A mother and a daughter died after their car had driven off the edge of a Bodega Bay cliff and fell a hundred feet before noon on Saturday.

The passengers of the said vehicle were identified as Maria Teixeira, 64, and Elizabeth Correia, 41, both from San Francisco Bay suburb Pleasanton. Why Teixeira kept driving even after their vehicle had rammed through the barrier remains unclear, California Highway Patrol spokesman David DeRutte said as per NBC News.

The SUV drove into the gravel lot that had no parking spaces, DeRutte said, noting that the car was driving at "a normal speed." However, it kept driving toward the cliff and showed no signs that it was about to stop. The car stayed at the same speed throughout. 

Almost 10 people witnessed the incident.

Authorities will inspect the vehicle. An autopsy will also be conducted to determine if Teixeira had any medical condition or if she was responsible for anything when the crash took place.

According to a report from the San Jose Mercury News, Teixeira and Correia were both elementary school teachers who worked in the area. Teixeira was a lead custodian while Correia taught first graders.

Tracie Culpepper, a colleague of Correia, described Correia as dedicated, compassionate and a natural at teaching. "She was my person, and I was hers," Culpepper said, adding that she didn't know what she was going to do anymore without Correia.

Meanwhile, the principal of Montevideo Elementary, where Teixeira had worked, gave a statement saying that Teixeira was an important person in their 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," the principal said as per KRON4.

A similar incident happened last month when two hikers plunged to death from an icy mountain cliff in Acadia National Park in Maine. The man and the woman, aged 28 and 30, respectively, might have fallen around 100 feet along an ice-covered cliff on Dorr Mountain. A search was conducted a day after their family members had heard from them. Their bodies were found the following day.

Cliff In this representational image, a stand-up paddle boarder heads out into the waves near the cliffs of La Jolla, California, Jan. 20, 2016. Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake