A candlelight vigil was held Tuesday evening 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.
More than 100 people attended the vigil that was held at the intersection of Whittsett Avenue and Riverside Drive, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
Detective Amber Leist was struck at that intersection about 11:05 a.m. Sunday, according to Los Angeles police and the sheriff’s department.
“`Our hearts are broken,” Amber’s father, Daniel Leist, told reporters. “This is the most heart-rending thing you could ever experience. You never think you’re going to lose your baby. But Amber came into this department and she knew what she had to do.”
Her son, Daniel Laney, spoke at the vigil.
“My grandparents gave her the middle name Joy,” Daniel Laney, said. “That name fits her well, because everyone she came across she brought joy to.”
The LASD shared on its Twitter page a video tribute to Leist from her classmates at the Sheriff’s Academy that included the caption, “Amber touched everyone w/her positive & uplifting personality. We may not be able to see you, but we know you’ll always be there.”
Leist was returning to her vehicle when she was struck. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the LAPD said.
The woman Leist helped before being struck by the vehicle also attended the vigil.
“She saved my life, I wish I could have saved hers,” Leslie Menaha told Fox11.
Leist was a 12-year-veteran of the department, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
More than two dozen deputies from the LASD’s West Hollywood Station attended the vigil.
“This hit us so hard, it’s so devastating, for everyone,” colleague Ebony Jackson said. “She was so impactful.”
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.
The candlelight vigil was put together by Cicla Valley, a group that monitors deadly traffic crashes in the Valley Village area and surrounding communities, according to the Daily News.
A makeshift memorial of candles, flowers and pictures was created at the intersection where Leist was killed.
Funeral arrangements were pending.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: