A 41-year-old off-duty deputy at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station was struck and killed by a vehicle in Valley Village while trying to help an older woman across the street, the Los Angeles county sheriff said.
The crash that took the life of Deputy Amber Leist occurred about 11:05 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Whitsett Avenue and Riverside Drive, according to Los Angeles police and Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
“Deputy 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 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,” Villanueva said.
“It’s been a tough day for our department and for West Hollywood station, where she was assigned,” the sheriff continued.
Villanueva said that personnel at West Hollywood station were replaced Sunday by personnel from other locations so that the West Hollywood personnel had a chance to grieve their loss. The department also assigned a psychologist to the station, he added.
Leist was transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the LAPD said.
She was struck while “assisting a civilian,” the sheriff said. He described that civilian as an elderly person who had fallen down while crossing a street.
The driver who hit the deputy stayed at the scene to render help, the LAPD said.
Detective Leist’s death has left me heartbroken. She was an amazing woman and we shared our Jewish values. She was the embodiment of “tikun-olam” which means to heal the world…something she did each and every day I knew her on the job. My heartfelt prayers and sympathies to her parents, two sons and her extended family at the LASD.
This is so sad. It sounds like she may have saved a life at the cost of her own. R.I.P.