Who Is Leah Kuczinski? Hailee Steinfeld Performs at Go-kart Crash Victim’s Vigil

Hailee Steinfeld performed at a candlelit vigil Wednesday in honor of a high school fan who recently died.

Leah Kuczinski, 16, was a sophomore at New Hyde Park Memorial High School in New Hyde Park, New York. Kuczinski’s hobbies included cheerleading and field hockey. She died February 25, during a winter break trip to Florida after a go-kart accident at the Palm Beach International Raceway, Newsday reported. Kuczinski was reportedly behind the wheel of the kart.

A vigil was subsequently planned for Wednesday in her honor, which received more than $89,800 in funding from a GoFundMe campaign. However, to make Kuczinski’s vigil more special, a teacher at New Hyde Park extended an invitation to Steinfeld—Kucinski's favorite singer—on Tuesday.

“Hi, Hailee! We lost one of our students this weekend in a tragic accident. She loved you and your music and was supposed to go to your July concert,” Tiffany Salcedo, a Spanish teacher, wrote to Steinfeld on Twitter. “We would love for you to come to her vigil tomorrow at @NHPGladiators if possible!! We love you and our Leah.”

Salcedo’s tweet generated more than 1,900 retweets, and it managed to catch Steinfeld’s attention. Her manager contacted Kucinzski’s family within two hours to confirm her attendance, WNBC reported. The singer-actress showed performed at Kucinzski’s vigil as she joined family, friends and fellow students to honor the 16-year-old girl’s memory.

“You all had so many incredible things to say about her, I really would have loved to have met her,” Steinfeld said before the crowd in videos of her appearance. “I know she was supposed to come to my show this summer. So, I wanted to come here and sing a song for her. Will you guys sing it with me?”

“We love you, Leah. Rest in peace,” Steinfeld added.  

Steinfeld later took to Twitter to share a poster from the vigil that contained the phrase “Fly High Leah."

Hailee Steinfeld’s representatives did not immediately return Newsweek’s request for comment.

Hailee Steinfeld Hailee Steinfeld's manager contacted Kuczinski's family to confirm the singer's attendance. Here, Steinfeld is pictured performing onstage at 106.1 KISS FM's Jingle Ball 2017 Presented by Capital One at American Airlines Center on November 28, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. Getty Images

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