“She was an outstanding detective who led by example," the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said
An off-duty detective was struck and killed over the weekend in Los Angeles after helping an elderly woman cross the street.
Detective Amber Leist, 41, was fatally struck shortly after 11 a.m. on Sunday, police announced at a press conference.
While stopped at a red light in a Los Angeles intersection, Leist, a 12-year veteran with the department, saw two pedestrians crossing the road, one of whom “stumbled and fell to the ground,” L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.
After putting her own vehicle in park, Leist left her car to go help the pedestrian cross the street safely. Afterwards, as Leist walked back to her car, she was fatally struck by a passing vehicle, authorities said. She was then transported to a local hospital where she died.
“We always with humor joke about helping the old lady cross the street. Well, this cost our deputy her life while doing exactly that,” Villanueva remarked.
Although the incident is still under investigation, it is being treated as an accident.
The sheriff also clarified that the driver of the vehicle that struck Leist remained at the scene and pulled over to render aid.
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“Today, the Los Angeles county Sheriff’s Department is grieving. Our hearts are broken as we begin to process the sudden loss of our family member,” the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department wrote on Facebook.
“She was an outstanding detective who led by example. She leaves behind a family and two sons. One son is currently serving in the Navy. We at the LASD will always be there for them as they are a part of family as well.”
A memorial was held on Monday, with flowers and candles left by the intersection, NBC affiliate KNBC reported.