Funeral held for sheriff killed while helping woman cross the street

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Deputy Amber Leist, 41, was off duty when she was fatally struck by a vehicle while helping an older woman across the street.

HOLLYWOOD — Funeral services were held Saturday for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Detective Amber Leist, who was struck by a vehicle after helping a woman cross a Valley Village street.

The service was held at 11 a.m. at the Mosaic Church, 7107 Hollywood Blvd., in Hollywood.

Leist, 41, was returning to her vehicle when she was struck by a car Jan. 12. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. She was a 12-year veteran of the sheriff’s department.

“Amber’s commitment to service is a reflection of what the men and women of the sheriff’s department do every day,” said Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

“Amber’s energy was so magnetic,” her partner, Deputy Yensenia Olvera, said.

“Our hearts are broken,” Amber’s father, Daniel Leist, told reporters at a vigil earlier this month. “This is the most heartrending thing you could ever experience. You never think you’re going to lose your baby. But Amber came into this department and she knew what she had to do.”

“She made the ultimate sacrifice, and she knew that going in, she knew that. And I couldn’t be more prouder,” Daniel Leist told NBC4. “Her life ended as she lived her life — serving others.”

The sheriff’s department shared on its Twitter page a video tribute to Leist from her classmates at the Sheriff’s Academy that included the caption, “Amber touched everyone w/her positive & uplifting personality. We may not be able to see you, but we know you’ll always be there.”

Leist is survived by her parents, siblings and 17- and 20-year-old sons.

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