The Novato community experienced so much grief upon learning that a 12-year-old girl died Thursday evening of injuries. She suffered critical injuries when she was struck by an SUV while riding her bike home from school at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

The Marin County coroner’s office confirmed that the Novato girl died last Thursday afternoon when her bicycle collided with an SUV. Hailey Ratliff. Coroner’s office Lt. Keith Boyd announced that an autopsy was scheduled for Friday.

The victim was identified as Hailey Ratliff, a Sinaloa Middle School student who moved to Novato over the summer with her family from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Her aunt, Laura McCarty said that Hailey was her niece and well-loved by the whole family. She is such a pretty loving little girl who had a very bright future. Her father and mother are wonderful people they are very giving and loving. She will be truly missed forever. RIP Hailey, we all love you.

Novato police related that at 2:59 o’clock in the afternoon of Thursday, Novato police and fire officials responded to the crash site on Novato Boulevard just west of San Marin High School and just east of Sandy Creek Way. According to witnesses, the young girl was riding west on Novato Boulevard west of Sutro Avenue when she was hit in the roadway by an eastbound SUV.

Welch said the child was riding her bike when she was struck just in front of a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. substation. Emergency crew rushed the victim to Novato Community Hospital and was then airlifted to Oakland Children’s Hospital and Research Center, where she expired at about 5:30 p.m.

The male operator of the SUV, not identified by police, stayed on scene after the accident and cooperated with the investigation, According to Welch, he did not see any signs of impairment or traffic violations.

The cause of the collision was not yet clarified as more information about the mishap will be available early next week as the traffic unit continues its investigation, Welch requested anyone who saw the incident .to contact Novato police at 897-4361.

Investigators will work with the Marin County Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division, Welch said.

Shalee Cunningham, superintendent of the Novato Unified School District, said counseling would be available for students and staff Friday at the nearby schools. She is extending to the family condolence and heartfelt sympathy from her department.

Accident victims have rights. You may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, wage loss and medical bills. Contact an experienced   NJ car accident lawyer now for a free consultation.

Source: Bay City News Service