Woman killed by alligator was kindergarten teacher and loving daughter

ENDICOTT, N.Y. — A teacher from Union-Endicott, New York, was attacked and killed by an alligator while walking her dog near her vacation home in South Carolina. The UE schools staff directory lists Cassandra Cline as a kindergarten teacher at George F Johnson Elementary School, according to WICZ.

The 45-year-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 went after her dog, according to Beaufort County investigators. Police say the alligator took hold of the leash and Cline 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.”

Investigators say the attack was witnessed by a neighbor and a groundskeeper on the golf course. When first responders got to the scene, they recovered Cline’s body from the water.

Cline’s mother,¬†Julia Meza, told ABC News,¬†“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.”