Family and friends hold vigil for teacher killed in hit-and-run crash on Thanksgiving

Family and friends hold vigil for teacher killed in hit-and-run crash on Thanksgiving

A car struck and killed Amanda Ferguson Weyant while she crossed the street at Mesa and Cincinnati early Thursday. Police say the driver fled the scene.

On Friday, friends and family laid more than 100 sunflowers at the intersection where police say a driver ran a red light and hit Mandy, who was in the crosswalk, and then took off.

Friends have been sharing photos of Mandy with CBS4.

Family and friends held candles for the woman who could brighten up any room.

“When she walked into a room she lit up a room with her radiant smile and beautiful blue eyes,” said Maggie Martinez. Martinez says Mandy was like a daughter to her.

On a day usually filled with so much joy, this tragic Thanksgiving was filled with sorrow.

“It was very, very devastating news, it has shattered our lives, it’s a phone call that no parent ever expects especially on Thanksgiving,” said Martinez.

Almost everyone at the vigil wore green and gold, Mandy was a die-hard Packers fan,” said Martinez.

“Her students just adored her, students who walked into her classroom and were not packer fans, became packer fans,” said Martinez.

Her father said she loved her students as if they were own kids, a love, her students felt.

“She was such an inspiration, such a joy to be around she always had a smile on her face always laughing. You could just tell she loved her students,” Ana Sofia Chavarria, a sixth grader and student body president.

The daughter of two educators, Mandy was passionate about teaching. Now her students are learning how to deal with tragedy and loss. They carry her lessons with them, her legacy living on in the kids she taught.

“She told us something that would actually impact me and I’ve used it, she said, ‘You know your brain has no limits so go beyond the center of it,’” said Ana Sofia Chavarria.

While her family grieves a life cut short, a plea for justice.

“The one thing we truly, truly hope is if this person is actually watching, go in and turn yourself in, accidents happen but you need to turn yourself in,” said Martinez

Bar owner Patrick McNeil tells CBS4 he was friends with Mandy and she died in front of a new bar he's building.

He said they've been giving the city suggestions on how to improve public safety in the area

And now they hope Mandy's death will not be in vain.

"I hope it can bring awareness to everybody in this neighborhood and we can all do something to rally together to find a solution with our District One reps and city officials to make sure this never happens again," said McNeil.

Police said they have located the vehicle that hit Mandy.

It was found abandon on Cincinnati.

It's described as a red 1996 Chevy Cavalier.

Anyone with information is asked to call El Paso police.

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