CONCORD -- Students and staff at Woodside Elementary remembered 9-year-old Hadessa Nuri by decorating large purple banners with artwork and handwritten messages at the school Monday. Purple was Hadessa's favorite color.
It was the first day back for the students following spring break, and the first school session since the third-grader and her father Solaiman Nuri were struck and killed by a 17-year-old driver while they bicycled along Treat Boulevard just a few blocks from the campus on April. 7. Hadessa's 12-year-old sister Hannah was injured but survived.
"Every class got an opportunity to make some art for Hadessa," said Principal Michelle Batesole, as teachers hung the banners on campus buildings after school. "We will post it for a few days for everyone to have a chance to say 'goodbye.'"
Wais Azizi, who was waiting to pick up his daughter, said he was a friend of the Nuri family and used to drive Hadessa to school in the morning.
"I knew her very well," Azizi said, as he read a banner. "Her mom is a nurse at John Muir Medical Center, so she used to drop her off in the morning. She was really special."
Aziz said his 7-year-old daughter, Eve, cried for nearly two days after learning that Hadessa had died.
"I really miss her," said the petite first-grader.
The two girls were good friends, said her father.
"We told her that she is in a better place," he said.