Vigil Being Held in Honor of Deputy Struck by Car and Killed After Helping Elderly Woman – NBC Los Angeles

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A candlelight vigil was scheduled Tuesday night for a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was fatally struck by a vehicle in Valley Village after she helped a woman who had fallen in an intersection get
to safety.

The accident that took the life of Detective Amber Leist occurred about 11:05 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of Whitsett Avenue and Riverside Drive, according to Los Angeles police and the sheriff’s department.

“Right in the middle of the intersection, she stops, and she came, (and) my wife is too heavy to lift by myself and (Leist) just lifted her up,” Richard Mehana told NBCLA.

Leist was returning to her vehicle when she was struck. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the LAPD said.

She was a 12-year-veteran of the department, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.

Detective “Leist leaves behind her parents and two sons, one 20-years-old and the second, 17-years-old,” Villanueva said at a news conference at the LASD West Hollywood station on Sunday evening. “The 20-year-old son is on active duty with the U.S. Navy and we were able to reach him,” he said.

Villanueva said the department assigned a psychologist to the station to help West Hollywood personnel deal with the loss of their colleague.

“It’s one of those things that, when it did happen, what was she doing? She was helping somebody. That’s a quintessential deputy sheriff,” Villanueva said. “We are shocked and stunned by the sudden loss of a family member.”

Sheriff’s deputies and representatives of other law enforcement agencies escorted Leist’s body from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to the coroner’s office Sunday evening, sheriff’s officials said.

The driver who hit the deputy stayed at the scene to render help, the
LAPD said.

Leist was off-duty when she was struck, but Villanueva said the incident would be treated as an on-duty occurrence.

A memorial service was being planned, Villanueva said.

“She made the ultimate sacrifice, and she knew that going in, she
knew that. And I couldn’t be more prouder,” Daniel Leist, Amber’s father, said. “Her life ended as she lived her life — serving others.”  

The candlelight vigil is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the intersection of Whittsett Avenue and Riverside Drive.

Amber Leist’s sisters have set up a GoFundMe raising funds that “will go to her loving boys and help with whatever costs are needed.” If you would like to donate to the GoFundMe, you may do so here. Please note that GoFundMe takes a percentage of all funds raised in the form of platform and other fees.

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