Vigil Planned for Detective Who Was Killed as She Helped a Woman Cross the Street

Los Angeles County Sheriff's detective Amber Leist was struck by a car after helping a woman who fell in a Valley Village crosswalk

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Family members and colleagues of a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy who was killed when she tried to help a woman who fell in the street are among those who will gather Tuesday night at a candlelight vigil in memory of the 12-year department veteran.

Detective Amber Leist was struck and killed by a car Sunday at the intersection of Whitsett Avenue and Riverside Drive in the San Fernando Valley community of Valley Village. The off-duty deputy, who had stopped to help a woman who stumbled in the crosswalk, was walking back to her car when she was struck by another car.

The candlelight vigil is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the intersection of Whittsett Avenue and Riverside Drive. Candles and flowers were left on a sidewalk near the intersection in memory of the 41-year-old detective, a 12-year veteran of the department.

The husband of the woman who fell expressed gratitude for Leist's help.

"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 said.

Security camera video from a nearby liquor store showed the woman falling to the ground about halfway across the intersection. Leist can be seen running from her car, stopped in the left turn lane, to aid the woman.

"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."


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Detective Leist is survived by her parents and two sons, ages 20 and 17. The 20-year-old son is on active duty with the U.S. Navy.

A memorial service is being planned.

The driver of the car remained at the scene and tried to help Leist, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Leist died at a hospital.

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