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Tears for Taylor: Friends, Faculty and Family Mourn Spirited Student

Taylor Dorman's mother was among those gathered Thursday night for a candlelight vigil to honor the 16-year-old's life and spirit.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CA -- Students, parents and friends gathered in front of Ramona High School Thursday evening for a student-organized candlelight vigil for Taylor Dorman, the 16-year-old sophomore who passed away Wednesday after being struck by a softball in the chest during P.E.

"Taylor was a really good friend... he was just one of those kids you could walk through a room and he would smile and the whole room would brighten up," said Laney Loftis, a classmate of Taylor's.

Loftis said the young Ramona High sophomore was always willing to cheer people up and was like "a big brother to everyone."

Shay Huntsman agreed, calling Taylor someone who could "light up the room."

"Taylor was like this big teddy that everyone can go hug," she said. "He's a really caring person... it's just really hard."

Sue Kohler, Taylor's mom, was in attendance at the vigil, where everyone was donning green—Taylor's favorite color—and expressed thankfulness for the support from his classmates.

"I think you all know Taylor was an amazing person... he was the kid that when he had to run laps around the baseball field, he had a big smile on his face," she told the large crowd of students that had lit candles in Taylor's memory. "And that's the way he lived his life. He loved his video games, he loved his family, he loved his friends."

Kohler spoke with the press afterward and confirmed that her husband had passed away two years prior due to heart failure. The single mother said that the Medical Examiner had confirmed that Taylor had an underlying health issue and that his heart was enlarged.

Students said they organized the vigil after speaking with counselors Thursday morning. They said the vigil was for remembrance, and a "celebration of his life" will be held Friday evening at Collier Park in honor of Taylor's 16th birthday—the same day the teen passed away.

Kohler said she got to take Taylor out for donuts the morning of his birthday before school.

The birthday celebration will be at 5 p.m. on April 12 at Collier Park.

This is the fourth death in a year that has affected the Ramona Unified School District. Last July, Ramona High grad Ryan Morgan was killed after a motorcycle accident, Olive Peirce Middle Schooler Chris Jaquez passed away in September 2012 and former RHS student Marley Pineda passed away in a car collision on Highway 78 last October.

Becky Kerr April 13, 2013 at 01:48 AM
I'm sorry she's lost her husband and son within 2 years. My heart goes out to her
DEBBIE SNAVELY April 13, 2013 at 02:32 AM
This is tragic, And made even more so reading adults calling each other names. People are entitled to their thoughts and opinions.. whether we agree or not. You can voice your side like anyone else can here... but name calling??? really? Why is everyone so angry all the time? Where is the compassion? This boy just died.
Jeff April 13, 2013 at 12:42 PM
They do produce a soft version on the typical sized softball, mostly for indoor play during the cold season! That being said, even the soft softball could cause serious injuries, even death when impacting someone with a heart condition. Very sad situation here. I would recommend families with children participating in sports to understand and know what Marfan's Syndrome is, please look it up!
millie760 April 13, 2013 at 02:16 PM
YOu know what? A life was lost. A 16 year old kid on his birthday. A mother is mourning. Can you all just let it be? It was a freak accident. People, have a heart and some compassion.
Henry Salo April 13, 2013 at 03:16 PM
In the town I live in, a student who was in track and field, was running on the track course when he suddenly drop dead on the field. The cause was a heart attack. His parents said he just had a physical and his doctor said he was OK. During an autopsy they found something else. A hidden heart defect. His own doctor didn't know it he had it. His blood pressure was normal and everything look normal. Accidents and some things do happen. My condolence to the Dorman family.

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