California – We’ve just learned that California Correctional Sgt. Cesar Fuentes, 60, was killed on Sunday evening in a roadway crash while heading home from his shift.
According to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, Fuentes had finished his shift at the San Joaquin County Jail and was riding his motorcycle home when he hit a truck and was ejected from his bike.
Sheriff Patrick Withrow said in a press release that investigators concluded that a driver in a Ford pick-up truck on the south shoulder of Matthews Road made a U-turn, putting himself directly in front of Fuentes.
Attached is a press release regarding the loss of one of our own, Correctional Sergeant Cesar Fuentes.
Withrow said that Fuentes collided with the driver’s side of the pick-up and was thrown from the motorcycle.
Fuentes was quickly rushed to San Joaquin General Hospital, but was pronounced dead from his injuries.
Fuentes had been serving with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office for the last six years, and had recently been promoted to Correctional Sergeant, ABC 10 reported.
Thoughts and Prayers to our friends at San Joaquin County Corrections.
In addition to his service in law enforcement, Fuentes was reported to be a United States Marine, having served the corp. for 12 years and earning the rank of sergeant before being honorably discharged.
Police say that the driver of the pick-up truck was not injured.
Fuentes was survived by his family.
Our hearts go out to the family, friends, co-workers and others that Fuentes’s life touched. Rest in peace, sergeant, we’ve got it from here.
Also on Sunday, another California detective was killed.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detective, 41-year-old Amber Leist, was killed in an accident, off-duty Sunday morning in the area of Valley Village.
The 12-year veteran was reportedly at a red light waiting to make a left turn. An elderly lady was crossing the street in the crosswalk in front of Leist’s car and fell down. Without hesitation, Leist put her car in park, got out, and assisted the elderly lady in getting across the street.
As she walked back to her car after safely delivering the woman to the other side of the road, she was struck by a vehicle.
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It was reported that the driver pulled over and tried to render aide to Leist, who was badly injured. She was transported to the hospital but died of her injuries.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said this on Twitter,
Today, @LASDHQ is grieving. We are shocked/stunned by the sudden loss of a family member. Amber Leist, a @WHDLASD detective, and 12 year veteran of LASD, was fatally struck by a vehicle in @LACity while assisting others. She was an outstanding detective who lead by example. pic.twitter.com/PcNIlAfTz8
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) January 13, 2020
Lead by example indeed. A 12-year veteran who still stopped her car, off-duty, no less, to assist a woman in crossing the street. That is a true, bona fide hero.
“She was an outstanding detective,” Sheriff Villanueva said during a news conference. “She would lead by example through her act of kindness.” The Sheriff added, “It’s unfortunate. God had a better plan for her and she was called home.”
Leist is survived by her parents and two sons, 17 and 20-years-old. The eldest is on active duty in the US Navy, and Sheriff Villanueva told reporters that they had been able to reach him to advise him of the loss of his mother.
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) January 13, 2020
Leist began her career with LA County Sheriffs working as a north county corrections officer. She also served as a deputy in Lancaster as well as a school resource officer. She was promoted to detective during the last five years spent with the West Hollywood station.
Sheriff Villanueva has relieved personnel at West Hollywood station to offer them time for bereavement. The department has also assigned a psychologist to the location.
“It’s a tough day for our department,” the Sheriff said. “We’re going to get through this as a family.”
Police officers lined the route for the procession of Leist’s body, which was escorted from Cedar Sinai Hospital to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
Condolences were expressed all over Twitter.
The National Fraternal Order of Police tweeted,
“A #hero tragically lost her life today in the service of her #community. Please keep the friends and family of detective Amber Leist in your thoughts and prayers.”
A photograph of deputies standing up and lining a parking garage was posted by LA County Sheriffs. The caption read,
“We line up with a heavy heart to ensure the safe passage of our fallen sister, @WHDLASD Deputy Amber Leist.”
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said,
“LASD Detective Amber Leist represented the very best within our profession and showed her dedication to others on or off-duty. She, without hesitation, assisted someone in need. We stand with her family, her friends, and the LASD tonight.”
LASD Lancaster Station posted,
“A tragic loss today, as Detective Amber Leist lost her life after being struck by a car. Detective Leist was off duty & helping someone across the street. She was a long time Lancaster patrol deputy. Please keep her 2 boys in your prayers. We will miss you friend. #LASD #AV411”
In response, a California leadership, mentorship, and training company called Harbinger Horizon, LLC said,
“A reminder of how phenomenal and noble the profession is. Not because of what she was- a deputy, but who she was: someone who is always there when needed most, not matter when or where, even when one isn’t even called upon to act. Her final act was #love.”
On that beautiful note, rest in peace, Deputy Leist. We’ll take it from here.
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