FONTANA (CBSLA) – Dozens of friends and family members of Mariesha Collins, a juvenile probation who was tragically killed in a suspected street racing incident in Fontana, gathered on Monday evening to remember their beloved mother, friend and colleague.

Friends and family gather at vigil for Mariesha Collins. (Photo Credit: KCAL9 News)

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Collins, weeks shy of her 56th birthday, was out buying gift cards for an Angel Tree Project with the Salvation Army when she was killed on December 10. She was in her car on Baseline Avenue and San Sevaine Road in Fontana, when a 20-year-old driver ran a red light and collided with her vehicle.

The driver, and the four other individuals in the vehicle with the 20-year-old, were transported to a nearby hospital with moderate injuries, while first responders attempted lifesaving techniques on Collins, who was eventually pronounced dead at the scene.

Collins’ family stayed away from the scene of the incident until the vigil on Monday. Her sister, Myron Carr Smith spoke on the overwhelming devastation that she and the rest of her family felt in the days afterwards, “We were so devastated that night. This is the first time actually being on the scene since that night… It’s been so hard.”

Collins, whom her family referred to as “their angel on Earth,” took her profession to heart, and as a Los Angeles County juvenile probation officer for over 27 years, she gave many children something that they had never experienced – a motherly figure.

Mariesha Collins and her son, Marlon.

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A mother to many, Collins would read bedtime stories to children at various probation camps, and according to her son Marlon, her life mission was spreading kindness. “The level of pain that we feel is tremendous. With all of that I know that her strength and her spirit – just like that smile – I know that it will never die out.”

The gift cards that she was out buying were for the children of prison inmates, “She was signing the names of the parents to send to these kids. She didn’t want anybody to know she was doing that,” said Collins’ son.

Her boss, Chief Probation Officer of the Los Angeles County Probation Department, Adolfo Gonzales was one of many people who gathered to remember the “many of the youth never had a parent, a loved one, read them a bedtime story – but she did.”

Collins’ family promises that they plan to carry on her giving spirit, starting with ensuring that the gift cards she had bought for those children still reach their destinations.

On top of that, they have a message for their community in the hopes of saving lives: Be careful, pay attention and slow down.

“We don’t want pain for other families to go through this. This is not just for Mariesha, this is for all the people who have lost loved ones to wreckless driving,” said Carr Smith.

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Collins will be remembered for her gigantic heart, propensity for kindness and the legacy of giving she leaves behind.