Remembering Hailey

Novato mourns the loss of a 12-year-old girl killed in a vehicle vs. bicyclist incident on Thursday.

Words just don't seem to convey the sorrow being in felt in Novato right now.

The silence at a 6:30 p.m. candlelight vigil Friday at San Marin High School will be a reflection of that speechless feeling as the community mourns Hailey Ratliff, who was killed Thursday afternoon as she was riding her bike home from school.

Dolores Vallez, Hailey's eldest cousin, said the close-knit family is shocked. Several of them left New Mexico immediately and headed to Novato to support father Charles, mother Angela and Hailey's three younger brothers, Vellez said.

"She was very bright, energetic and beautiful," Vallez said. "She had many friends and cousins in Albuquerque and was nervous about finding new friends when she moved. Well,  she had no problem. With a bright smile on her face and a great fashion, Hailey would light up the room everywhere she went. She was never shy and always up for a challenge. You never knew what she was gonna say — usually something that would make you shake your head and laugh." 

Vellez shared some photos with Novato Patch to get a tribute photo gallery going. You can contribute photos yourself to this gallery by hitting the "upload" button.

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Kelly Coleman September 28, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I am a Novato resident and have been for 30 Years. When I was 7, I was hit by a car, in front of my own home as my dad watched. I was actually hit on the same street little melody, who was killed on san marin dr, resided on!!! Hearing about another little girl taken too soon really brings back memories for myself and my family. Not sure what happened here but we all Need to use this as a reminder to not touch our phones while driving and to slow down! Life already goes to fast, we don't need to rush it anymore. As someone who was hit on my bike as a child, I would love to help this family in anyway I can.
Lydia Knight September 28, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Hailey was a very beautiful girl. Our hearts are breaking for her family and the family of the man that hit her. Thank you so much for sharing pictures and our thoughts and prayers are with both families.
Joy Fillman September 29, 2012 at 01:47 AM
What a wonderful light Hailey is in all of the photos of her. She was so clearly loved and cherished. Our family is so heartsick that she did not have a chance to continue to contribute all of that wonderful energy to the Novato community, as I know she must have done in every community she has been a part of. Our love and support go out to her family. ~Browne-Fillman family
Dick and Gloria Casey September 29, 2012 at 03:06 AM
We pray for the family.......she is in Heaven......... The Casey family, Novato
Tina McMillan September 29, 2012 at 04:33 AM
It is so very important that we all slow down when we drive to have a chance to respond when something unexpected happens. I feel this way every time I drive down Eucalyptus at dusk or on Vineyard and Sutro when school lets out. There are no words for the heartbreak of losing a child. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Jackie Thoma September 29, 2012 at 10:15 AM
I was talking to my son David just the other day and asked him to describe his friends when he talked about Hailey..he smiled and said "she's the nicest person I've ever met" really mom she's a good person...and I said that is the best kind of friend to have...After school a group of them would meet in front of school and ride there bikes together...David remembers reaching the street where he turns down and looking back to say Bye to Hailey...He will always remember her and her awesomeness!!
Donna September 29, 2012 at 02:00 PM
My heart is really heavy along with my tear-filled eyes looking at this beautiful young girl who's life was cut short.i too have a 12 year old and it's eating me up inside trying to make since of it all!Still I can't I dn't know what really took place but what im sure of is that she didn't deserve this tragedy.Its 6 am and I'm up looking at pics of her reading articals I feel like I knew her.PLEASE PEOPLE SLOW DOWN WAIT TO TEXT DNT DRINK AND DRIVE DONT DISTRACT URSELF OR THIS COULD BE YOU IMPACTING A FAMILY IN A WAY NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO IMAGINE!!REAST IN PEACE YOUR FOREVER LOVED & NEVER FORGOTTEN HAILEY!
Sharon Ferry September 30, 2012 at 01:22 PM
My deepest sympathies and continued prayers go out to the Ratliff family and Hailey's friends. Their pain is unimaginable. I hope the road is made safer for everyone - in the name of Hailey. :(
HistoryLover September 30, 2012 at 11:55 PM
So sorry for this terrible tragedy. This is one part of history that I will never love. What a horrible accident. Hailey's memory will always be cherished. She will be loved forever.
Barb Curtice October 24, 2012 at 07:06 AM
Kelly, I would really like you to know about our group that is forming - Novato Blvd Safety Committee. Can you please contact me at BarbCurtice@gmail.com. Thanks you!
Barb Curtice October 24, 2012 at 07:10 AM
We hope the road is made safer too Sharon! Please contact me to know more about Novato Blvd Safety Committee. BarbCurtice@gmail.com Thanks!
Zebra142 November 06, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Hailey my friend I met her in her brothers birthday party I only met her for 40 min And I miss her we well miss you hailey
Zebra142 November 06, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Hailey my friend I met her in her brothers birthday party I only met her for 40 min And I miss her we well miss you hailey
Tori Waymire February 15, 2013 at 03:11 AM
Goodnight my angel love tori


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