Vigil held for mother killed in hit-and-run incident in Encino

ENCINO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A vigil was held Saturday night for a young mother killed by a hit-and-run driver in Encino.

Friends and family gathered at the scene of the crash as police continue to search for Yana Lavrenteva's killer.

Lavrenteva's husband was comforted by relatives and friends during a vigil next to the crosswalk where the young mother was struck and killed.

"She was just only 30," Natalya Sinelnikova said. "She had plenty of years ahead, but some crazy driver just took her from us."

"She never complained, she was always laughing," Anya Shinkeyeva said. "Our whole friendship that we spent, we spent laughing."

The mother of two children, ages four and six, was struck in a crosswalk on Ventura Blvd. in Encino after leaving a friend's birthday party.

Police said the victim was struck by a silver SUV captured on surveillance video. Witnesses said the driver ran a red light and never stopped.

Dozens gathered to remember her during a vigil.

"It's as if our hearts have been ripped out of our chests," Julia Karobkoff said. "She was vibrant. She was beautiful. She taught children with autism. She was a pillar in the community."

Loved ones are appealing to the public for help to find the driver responsible for the 30-year-old's death.
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