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Off-duty L.A. detective fatally struck by car as she helped elderly woman

Posted at 8:12 AM, Jan 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-13 10:12:31-05

An off-duty Sheriff's Detective was struck and killed by a vehicle in Los Angeles after assisting an elderly woman cross the street Sunday.

Detective Amber Leist, a 12-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department assigned to the West Hollywood Station was hit around 11:05 a.m. at the intersection of Whitsett Avenue and Riverside Drive. She was transported to a nearby hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.

According to Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Detective Leist was stopped at a red light when she witnessed a woman fall while crossing the street. She got out of her car, assisted the individual to safety and was hit while returning to her vehicle.

Commander Marc Reina of the LAPD said the driver of the vehicle that hit Detective Leist stayed on scene and attempted to render aide and had been cooperative. He said that officers from the Valley Traffic Division and were still on scene conducting their investigation, but it would be "quite some time before a determination is made who is at fault."

In a press conference Sunday evening, Sheriff Villanueva described Leist as an "outstanding detective who would lead by example."

A 12-year veteran of the department, she first worked at the North County Correctional Facility before moving to the Lancaster Station and spent the last 5 years as the West Hollywood station. She is survived by her parents and two sons.