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2 women killed after car plunges into California harbor

April 12, 2021 GMT

MOSS LANDING, Calif. (AP) — Two women who died after their car careened into a river at Moss Landing in Monterey County over the weekend have been identified, authorities said Monday.

The Monterey County Herald said officials identified them as Vanessa Carrango, 35, and Esther Monique Espinoza, 28, both of Salinas. Carrango was driving at the time of the crash, officials said.

Their bodies were recovered Saturday from a four-door 2010 Acura that was submerged upside down in the Moss Landing harbor, the California Highway Patrol said.


The CHP said officers were dispatched around 2:50 p.m. Saturday, but they’re not sure when the incident occurred. Divers with the Monterey County Parks Department recovered the bodies.

The women were traveling westbound Friday or Saturday on Dolan Road approaching Highway 1 when Carrango appeared to have missed a stop sign at the intersection and drove the vehicle through a gate, flipping over and landing in the harbor, the highway patrol said.

It is unknown if alcohol or drugs are a factor in the crash, the CHP said.

Divers with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office searched to ensure no other people were in or around the vehicle. They then helped in getting the vehicle out of the harbor, officials said.

The fatal car plunge comes a week after a mother and daughter were killed when their SUV plunged off a cliff into the rocks below in Bodega Bay.

Witnesses told officials the vehicle drove through a wooden barrier in a large parking area at the Bodega Bay’s Head Trail before it went off the cliff.

Both women were found dead when rescuers made it down to the Toyota SUV, which had landed on its roof on the rocks about 100 feet (30 meters) below.

Maria Teixeira, 64, and her daughter Elizabeth Correia, 41, both of the San Francisco Bay Area city of Dublin, died in the crash.

California Highway Patrol Officer David de Rutte said Monday Teixeira was driving and appears to have confused the pedals.

“It was purely accidental and a really sad situation,” Rutte said.