Ballerina Killed Trying to Save Wounded Animal

Famous former ballerina Zina Feeley was struck down and killed by two vehicles, while trying to save a wounded animal on the road, authorities said Monday.

Feeley, 66, who used to dance under her maiden name Bethune, left her Lincoln town car running on Forest Lawn Drive in Los Angeles, to jump out and help what turned out to be a dead opossum, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Feeley was struck first by a vehicle coming eastbound, hurling her into the opposite lane, and was then struck by a second car which dragged her body over 600 feet, police say. She suffered severe head injuries and died at the scene.

Police have not yet been able to identify the car and the driver involved in the second crash. It is speculated that the driver was among the many interviews at the scene, or could have possibly fled.

Bethune started her ballet career dancing with the New York City Ballet at age 14, under the training of celebrated dance instructor George Balanchine. She danced in spite of suffering from scoliosis and lymphedema.

"I was born to dance, in my heart, but not in my body," she told a Los Angeles Times reporter in 1999.

Bethune went on to become a dance teacher, teaching thousands of disabled children to dance ballet for free in Southern California.

She also appeared in Martin Scorcese's 1967 debut feature film "Who's That Knocking At My Door," on Broadway, and on TV shows like "The Guiding Light" and "Santa Barbara."