12-year-old Novato girl dies after being hit by SUV

September 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 12-year-old Novato girl died Thursday night after being struck by an SUV. She was hit on Novato Boulevard while riding her bike home from school.

Members of the community have been placing candles and flowers along the stretch of road where the girl was hit. They tell us Hailey Ratliff was a student at Sinaloa Middle School. Novato police say she was traveling west on Novato Boulevard when she collided with an SUV going in the opposite direction.

Susan Pagan lives nearby and saw the aftermath. She said, "I was sick to my stomach, worried about her family, worried about her."

Hailey was taken to a Marin County Hospital by ambulance, then transported by helicopter to Children's Hospital in Oakland where she was pronounced dead. Police are now trying to piece together what happened.

"The driver of the SUV is very cooperative. There does not appear to be any signs of impairment or illegal maneuvers, but we are investigating that and exploring all options of the investigation," said Novato Police Sgt. Jennifer Welch.

Hailey moved to Novato from New Mexico only a month ago. She had written on her Facebook page that she didn't want to leave for California, because she was leaving behind too many friends.

Although she was new to Novato, her death is hitting the community hard. Neighbors hope the accident will bring about changes to what they believe is a dangerous road.

"They're flying down here on the road, there's no speed limits posted, and there's a community here and we have a lot of kids here so that makes it kind of risky," said Novato resident Jerome Pagan.

People we talked to are suggesting speed bumps and better signage, anything to make this stretch of road safer.


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