Family, friends remember lost loved one

Posted at: 11/09/2012 6:21 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Tony Hillerman Middle School students and parents came together Friday afternoon to remember a former student.

Hailey Ratliff was hit and killed while riding her bike home from school in Novato, California back in September.

A special ghost bike was dedicated in her memory.

"There will always be a hole in our heart from losing her," Angela Ratliff, Hailey's mom, said.

Speaking before hundreds of Tony Hillerman students about her beloved 12-year-old daughter helps heal some of the pain, Angela said.

"We have our ups and downs and it's still minute to minute, it's not how are we going to get through the day yet, it's how are we going to get through the next ten minutes," Angela said.

The Duke City Wheelman Foundation donated a white ghost bike to the 7th grader, which sends a powerful message to everyone.

Hailey was hit by an SUV and killed while riding her bike home from school in Novato, California, police said.

"Be attentive, good thoughtful drivers, taking care for themselves and for everybody else on the road," Jennifer Buntz, Duke City Wheelman Foundation, said.

Those who knew Hailey and expressed their love outside the Ratliff family's home back in September, fought to hold back those same tears Friday.

"It's been hard," Sierra Sewell, a friend and student, said. "It's been a lot better though because we all talk about it."

Friends said Hailey always brought everyone together, and principal Renee Salazar-Garcia said, this is their way of showing that same kindness.

"We are a very caring community, our kids care very deeply about one another and it was important to them, this came from the parents and the students, they wanted to do something to remember Hailey," she said.

The ghost bike will be placed outside along the bike path in front of the school Monday morning for anybody in the community to come by and see.