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A candlelight vigil on Wednesday for a 16-year-old Long Island student who died in a go-karting accident featured a performance from the late teen's favorite singer: Hailee Steinfeld

By Dave Quinn
March 01, 2018 09:30 AM
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Credit: Courtesy Tiffany Salcedo

A candlelight vigil on Wednesday for a 16-year-old Long Island student who died in a go-karting accident featured a performance from the late teen’s favorite singer: Hailee Steinfeld.

The “Let Me Go” songstress star joined friends, family, classmates, and teachers at New Hyde Park Memorial High School in New York to honor the memory of sophomore cheerleader and a field hockey player Leah Kuczinski.

“Thank you guys all so much for asking me to come here and honor Leah,” Steinfeld, 21, said in videos of her appearance posted to social media, before launching into an acoustic version of her song “Starving.”

“You all had so many incredible things to say about her, I really would have loved to have met her,” Steinfeld continued. “I know she was supposed to come to my show this summer, so I wanted to come here and sing a song for her.”

Her teacher, Tiffany Salcedo, tweeted Steinfeld on Tuesday — telling the Pitch Perfect star what a fan Kuczinski was of hers and inviting her to come to the vigil. The tweet quickly gained traction, with more than 1,900 retweets.

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Hailee Steinfeld
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“I know Leah was in heaven smiling down,” Salcedo told the outlet. “She’s a class act. Not many people would have taken the time to come and fly when they have to be somewhere else in the morning.”

Salcedo also shared a photo of Steinfeld posing with her and three of Kuczinski’s best friends.

“Thank you @HaileeSteinfeld for being such a class act and showing your support for my amazing student Leah!” she wrote on Twitter when sharing the photo. “And being there for her best friends!! I know she’s smiling down on you! May God Bless you always!!”

Steinfeld, meanwhile, honored Kuczinski in a tweet on Thursday — sharing a photo with the phrase “Fly High Leah” on a school poster.

Kuczinski’s friends set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the teen’s funeral expenses. So far, it’s raised nearly $90,000.