Procession held for LA sheriff's detective killed after helping pedestrians in Valley Village

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ByAmy Powell via KABC logo
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
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Loved ones gathered to remember the L.A. County sheriff's detective who was struck and killed by a vehicle after helping a couple cross a street in Valley Village.

VALLEY VILLAGE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County sheriff's Detective Amber Leist was honored and remembered during a procession a Wednesday morning.

Leist was off-duty when she was fatally struck by a vehicle after helping a couple cross a street in Valley Village.

Detective Leist was escorted from the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner to a mortuary in Covina, surrounded by dozens of her fellow deputies.

Family, friends and colleagues attended a vigil Tuesday night to remember Leist.

Leist's sons, parents and other family members were among those who attended the vigil.

"She was a force to be reckoned with... her strength made everyone feel safe and secure," said her sister Sumry Lemmenes.

Leist spent 12 years with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, five of those years at the West Hollywood station. Deputies and other co-workers are devastated by her death.

"It didn't matter who you are because Amber saw the good and the character inside of you," one of her colleagues said at the vigil.

The 41-year-old detective was killed Sunday in a crash. Footage showed when Leist got out of her car to help an elderly woman who had fallen while crossing the street with her husband.

While returning to her car, Leist was struck by a vehicle.

The couple helped by Leist, Leslie and Richard Mehana, attended the vigil and expressed their sorrow to Leist's family.

"My daughter was raised to do exactly what she did," said Daniel Leist.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore and several LAPD officers attended the gathering, along with community members.

The family said the outpouring of support has given them strength. They say they have received condolences from around the country.