The tragedy occurred on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina and has shocked the surrounding area. A teacher from Union-Edicott, New York, was attacked and killed by an alligator while she was walking her dog near her vacation home.
Cassandra Cline is listed on the UE schools staff directory lists as a kindergarten teacher at George F. Johnson Elementary School.
Cline, who is 45-years-old, was walking her dog at Sea Pines Plantation golf course on Hilton Head Island when a 9-foot-long alligator came out of the water and lunged for her dog, according to Beaufort County investigators.
The police leading the investigation say the alligator took hold of her leash and the kindergarten teacher tried to rescue the dog.
“In the effort to save her dog, the alligator turned on her,” said Edward Allen, the Beaufort County coroner. “It dragged her possibly 14 feet into the lagoon.”
The attack on Cline was witnessed by a neighbor and a groundskeeper at the golf course. First responders got to the scene and were able to recover her body from the water.
Julia Meza, the victim’s mother, was interviewed by ABC News. She said of her daughter, “She was just always happy and laughing. She would bend over backward to help someone. She’d give you the shirt off her back. She was a kind, generous and loving daughter, a good sister, a good wife.”
The local Fox News affiliate posted this message on Facebook of the tragic attack: “Cassandra Cline, killed by alligator in South Carolina, taught kindergarten at George F. Johnson Elementary.”
The alligator was caught and killed by county officials.