A crisis response team will be on hand at Helena Middle School over the next few days to help students dealing with the death of Hailee Barrett, an 11-year-old girl who died Thursday evening after being struck by a car.
A memory area at the school has been created for students to leave scrapbooks, cards and other tokens, Principal Josh McKay said. Those items will be given to Barrett’s family.
“The kids are very sullen but thinking about the positive things, like what a kind of shining-light kid she was,” McKay said.
“She was a student that knew lots of our kids — a very positive kid,” he added.
Students were told about Barrett’s death at school Monday and were sent home with a letter to parents regarding the efforts of the school that afternoon.
Funeral services will be today at 6 p.m. at the First Assembly of God Church, 2210 Dodge Ave. Memorials in Barrett’s name are suggested to a fund set up at Valley Bank in Helena to help the family with funeral expenses.
In addition, McKay said the students are planning many fundraisers, including some that will be ongoing throughout the school year.
Barrett was walking across the southbound on-ramp for Interstate 15 at 11th Avenue when she was struck by a vehicle, according to Lewis and Clark County Coroner Mickey Nelson. She died later at St. Peter’s Hospital.
The southbound vehicle, driven by Chance Dean Hildebrand, a 20-year-old Boulder man, was attempting to enter the interstate when the collision occurred, Nelson said.
Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremy Lee, the lead investigator into the accident, said there were no indications that drugs or alcohol were involved in the collision and unless the driver’s blood tests prove otherwise, no charges will be filed.
“Pedestrians and bicyclists are not allowed on the interstate — the speeds are too high. That’s the law,” Lee added.