Friends, family remember teen killed in Chula Vista hit-and-run

Posted at 11:13 PM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-12 02:34:01-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- As the sun set at a Chula Vista community park, those who knew 17-year-old Leilani Magno began to gather. With them, they brought photos, flowers and candles, to hold vigil for the young life cut tragically short.

The local high school graduate was killed Sunday while out for a run. The accused hit-and-run driver turned himself in to police a day later. 

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"It just shows how many people she influenced how many people she impacted how many people loved her most of all," Daniela Huerta, Leilani's friend, said. 

Her friends told 10News that Leilani was the soul of their Eastlake High track team."

"We spent so much time with her," Marie Sira, another friend, said. "Just running."

Leilani was doing what she loved when she died - running last Sunday night in Chula Vista when she was hit by a car and killed.

Wednesday night her mother spoke out for the first time since the accident. 

"It's not fair that now I don't have my child, my only child, with me cause I'm gonna miss her," Leilani's mother, Vanessa said. 

Leilani had hopes of becoming a doctor and was set to attend UC Irvine in the fall.

"We lost an amazing person," Vanessa said. "A person who had a bright future who was a person who was going to reach so high in life."

The disbelief has turned to sadness and many could not hold their tears back as they mourned the loss of a young woman who by all accounts was full of positivity and kindness. 

Leilani's family said the community has given them strength through the terrible ordeal. 
"I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has given us their support," Vanessa said. "Who has given us their prayers their thoughts."