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Video: 'Novato Remembers Hailey Ratliff'

David Baldini of Novato High School created this tribute to the 12-year-old girl who lost her life on Sept. 27, sending the whole city into mourning.

Although Hailey Ratliff lived on the other side of town from Novato High School, her recent death struck a profound chord with many in Hornet Town.

Ratliff, a student at Sinaloa Middle School in Novato, was struck by an SUV and died of her injuries 90 minutes later on Sept. 27, sending friends and family into a tailspin.

Two years earlier, on a stretch of Novato Boulevard very close to where Hailey was hit, Isaac Brott was killed in a crash. Brott, 15, was a well-liked Novato High student who was in a car with some friends who had been drinking alcoholic beverages. The driver, who was unlicensed, crashed his BMW into a cattle truck head-on about a half mile from where Hailey was struck as she rode her bike. Isaac was the only one killed in that crash.

"He was a close friend whose presence could never be replaced, so it really hurt to hear that another young life had been cut short just down the street," said Novato High student David Baldini. "The reason the NHS community feels the same is because they really care about others in the community. ... NHS has had several tragedies and deaths since I was a freshman, including a few suicides and car crashes, so it's a pretty raw subject at the school for us seniors."

Last week, Baldini took it upon himself to document the school's effort to cope with the Hailey Ratliff tragedy, resulting in the attached video. Baldini, whose mother is a rock concert photographer, focuses on film and video at Marin School of the Arts and has been asked to document other events at the school.

The school's Leadership class planned planned several fundraisers on behalf of the Ratliff family, including a car wash at Marin Coffee Roasters last Saturday.

"The entire community is here to support the Ratliff family," Baldini said.

The Novato Police Department said Tuesday it might be a few more weeks before any more information about the incident is released, including a toxicology report on the driver.

A fund has been created in Hailey Ratliff's name at Wells Fargo Bank to support the Ratliff family.

  • Account number: 2707306573
  • Routing number: 121042882

Contact a Wells Fargo branch for more information.

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Holly Choy October 11, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Beautiful...
Melissa Ayotte October 11, 2012 at 08:05 PM
That was so touching.... thank you for making this video and for sharing. Novato is a very special place. Love to Hailey's family......
Charles Ratliff October 11, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Thank you for taking the time to share my daughter Hailey with such respect.
Ann-Marie Baldini October 12, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Charles, I am deeply touched that you would take the time to thank David for his video. Our family extends our most sincere condolences to you and your family. You are in our daily thoughts and prayers. God bless you all.
trucha October 12, 2012 at 03:30 AM
What is the link to see the video?
David Baldini October 12, 2012 at 03:41 AM
It was my pleasure Charles
Brent Ainsworth (Editor) October 12, 2012 at 04:12 AM
I really appreciate both David's effort and Charles' contribution here. Very nice comment from Ann-Marie, too. For those trying to see the video on an iPhone, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AACe2HUfZI0 ... That will take you directly to YouTube.
Barb Curtice October 24, 2012 at 07:15 AM
David you are truly amazing for your gifts in doing this video. Charles, David is also helping us film at Sinaloa. We are meeting tomorrow to finish with interviewing Hailey's teachers. God Bless Novato!
Barb Curtice October 24, 2012 at 07:18 AM
Ann-Marie, certainly a case of the apple being close to the tree :)) ((Hugs))

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