A man is behind bars for the hit-and-run death of an El Paso teacher.
According to police, Joel Velazquez, 24, is facing charges for allegedly hitting and killing Amanda Weyant Ferguson, 28, as she crossed Mesa at Cincinnati early Thanksgiving morning.
Officials say Weyant was crossing the intersection at a crosswalk at about 2 a.m. Thursday when Velazquez allegedly ran a red light and hit her.
Weyant died at the scene.
Police say Velazquez immediately drove away from the scene. Investigators later found his vehicle, a red Chevy Cavalier, parked in a nearby neighborhood.
Velazquez was booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility under a $150,000 bond.
As KTSM reported, Weyant was a six-year employee of the district and most recently served as a 6th grade teacher at Eastwood Heights Elementary School.
The school hosted a candlelight vigil Friday night to honor her.
“I knew my daughter loved me tremendously and she knew that I loved her tremendously,” Weyants father, Dan Ferguson, said. “I’m going to miss her every day for the rest of my life…just be careful. Make sure all the fathers out there, and mothers out there, make sure that you hug your kids,” he said.
Ysleta ISD sent KTSM the following statement regarding Weyant’s death:
It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we confirm the untimely death of Eastwood Heights Elementary School teacher Amanda “Mandy” Weyant Ferguson. Ms. Ferguson passed away over the holiday break, and we have extended our deepest condolences to her family. Ms. Ferguson was employed at the Ysleta Independent School District for five years, and served as a sixth-grade teacher at Eastwood Heights Elementary School. Our thoughts and heartfelt prayers are with Ms. Ferguson’s family during this difficult time.
Grief counselors will be on site Monday, Nov. 26, at Eastwood Heights Elementary School to help students, faculty, and staff cope with the sad news. These counselors will continue to be available at the campus to those who need additional help dealing with their grief.