Friends remember Las Vegas teen killed while hiking - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Friends remember Las Vegas teen killed while hiking

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Friends shared memories of a teen killed while hiking in Washington. (Kathleen Jacob / FOX5) Friends shared memories of a teen killed while hiking in Washington. (Kathleen Jacob / FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Friends and family said they are heartbroken after a Las Vegas teen was killed while hiking in Washington state. Officials said she died after falling into a waterfall. Haylei Hughes was a stand-out soccer and basketball star who has recently graduated from Cimarron Memorial High school. Before that, she went to Bishop Gormon.

Hannah Borgel said she was friends with Haylei and co-captains of their club soccer team.

“The second we like stepped onto the field, we like loved each other. It was awesome," Hannah recalled.

When she found out Haylei was missing, and later found dead, she said she was heartbroken and in shock.

"One of my other friends on the team called me while I was in the car driving home and she told me. And then I kind of just like I had to pull over cause like everything started like spinning," Hannah said.

Haylei’s friend and basketball teammate Sam Coleman said she didn’t want to believe the news when she got the text. She said she wants to remember Haylei as the fun-loving friend that she was.

"She had the biggest heart and she was totally caring and giving and, like, if you were with her she was on your side and she had your back, no matter what," Sam said. "I hope she knows that we loved her and she was our best friend and we'll never forget her."

Another friend and soccer teammate, Norina Romo, said she and other friends are just feeling lost and confused.

"It really just doesn't make sense because we know people die but it's from they're old or a disease or sickness, you know. And Haylei's gone hiking countless times and she's been fine, so I think you just have to remember that she lived a great life and did everything she could possibly want and she'll live in our hearts forever," Norina said.

Haylei’s friends said they’re looking for ways to cope.

"She was definitely fearless, like she always kind of knew she was the best player but she wasn't cocky at all. Like she had so much humility and strength, even off the field too," Hannah said, “She was really a special person to me and I'm gonna miss her a lot and I just love her and I want her to know that."

On Friday, dozens of Haylei’s friends gathered for a vigil at Cimarron Memorial High School.

They shared memories and released balloons with words they wish they could say to her.

"We all know the talent that you had and nobody's ever going to forget it or forget you, even though you didn't get to play on the field you definitely still made an impact," Norina said.

Haylei was heading to play soccer at Highline College in Washington in the fall. To help her family with funeral expense, here’s a link to their gofundme page.

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