School mourns teen who died in gym class

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RAMONA, Calif. — Students, faculty and staff returned to Ramona High School with heavy hearts Thursday, a day after a sophomore was fatally hit in the chest by a softball — on the day he turned 16 — during his physical-education class.

Student Dies After Hit By Ball In Gym ClassTaylor Dorman was playing “over-the-line,” a game similar to softball, when he was struck Wednesday around 11 a.m., according to school officials, who said the boy initially appeared fine and even joked about the hit.

About 20 minutes later, however, the teen collapsed on campus and was airlifted to Palomar Medical Center, where he died a few hours later.

“Upon admission to the emergency department, the decedent had an irregular heartbeat and was taken into the intensive care unit,” according to a statement from the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office. “He failed to (respond) to numerous attempts to stabilize his heart rhythm and his mother was advised of his grim prognosis due to prolonged resuscitative efforts. Lifesaving measures were discontinued, and death was pronounced.”

Grief counselors were on hand Thursday to help students and school personnel deal with their grief.

A candlelight vigil in front of the high school was scheduled for Thursday evening, beginning at 7:15 p.m., according to the Ramona Sentinel.

Navar Findley, 15, described Taylor as his best friend, saying he was passionate about two things — surfing and video games. Taylor also had a great sense of humor and loved his dog, a Chihuahua named Biggie Smalls, Navar told U- T San Diego.

“He was never mean to anybody,” Navar said. “(He was) totally the guy who walks up and cheers up your day.”

“I was about to give up on life,”said Sue Dorman Taylor’s mother. “but then I turned on the TV, and there were all of these stories that I knew were true. He was wonderful and that gave me strength.”

Dorman says she will be there for Taylor’s friends, because they were there for her. “I’m not going to mourn Taylor’s death any more, I’m going to celebrate his life.”