Tie-dyed crowd remembers senior Gardner-Edgerton volleyball player

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GARDNER, Kan. -- Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazer fans traded in their blue for a rainbow of colors Friday night pledging “our tie-dye will never die.”

It was students way of remembering senior volleyball player Haylei Jo Bell, affectionately known as "Hippie Haylei." Bell, 17 was killed when her car veered off the road and struck a tree on the way to school Tuesday morning. The wreck occurred on 207th Street, near Moonlight Road.

“Hippy Haylei, that was her name. She just loved wearing tie-dye and being funny and stuff, she was always positive," Owen Krouch, a Gardner-Edgerton student said.

The entire student body and even some parents wore tie-dye Friday night to honor Bell.

“We are all moms and all of these are our kids and we all need to support each other and stick together," parent Missy Brown said.

Kylie Adden, a fellow senior who worked with Bell at Perkins, drove her friend to the senior bonfire that kicked off the school year.

“She stuck her head out my sunroof and started screaming because she was so happy, she’s a Sr and she’s graduating, and she committed to Missouri Valley State," Adden said.

At the volleyball team’s first game since her death Thursday night, Gardner Edgerton started just five players, leaving Bell’s spot on the floor empty. Her younger sister, also injured in the crash, was in the crowd.

A school club raised more than $1,600 dollars selling stickers with her name and number and the phrase "Our Tie Die Will Never Die," at the volleyball game. They were selling hundreds more at the football game, along with 3000 tie-dye bracelets.

“She always had a smiling face coming into work, we’d always get dinner afterwards, we just had a good time together when we were together," Adden said.

After a balloon release and moment of silence to remember Bell, there were some smiles in the stands, perhaps for the first time this week.

“I feel like she doesn’t like how we are all sad, because that’s just not who she is, and I just like how we all came together as one, and just are supporting her," Krouch said.