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.