WEST HOLLYWOOD—An off-duty sheriff from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood station was struck and killed by a vehicle on Sunday, January 12 as she was helping a woman across the street in Valley Village.
At about 11:00 a.m. Sheriff Amber Joy Leist, 41, was in her vehicle when she noticed a pedestrian fall on the street in the area of Riverside Drive and Whisett Avenue. She got out of her car and helped the woman walk across the street.
As she walked back onto the street, Leist was struck by a car that was driving eastbound on Riverside.
“While she was returning to her vehicle, she was struck by a vehicle traveling eastbound on Riverside Drive when the light had turned green,” said Sheriff Alex Villanueva during a press conference.
The case is being treated as an accident as the investigation continues. According to authorities, it could take a while to determine who was at fault. The name of the driver was not released, but they are cooperating with authorities.
Sheriff Leist was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. She leaves behind two sons, one who is on active duty in the Navy.
Leist was a 12-year veteran of the department. She started her career at the North County Correctional Facility. She worked for a while at the Lancaster station before being transferred to the West Hollywood station. She started as a patrol and school officer before she earned the rank of detective.
According to Villanueva, Leist was “an outstanding detective who would lead by example, and she definitely lead by example through her act of kindness, and we consider this an on-duty death.”