Mother speaks at emotional vigil honoring Ramona H.S. teen - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Mother speaks at emotional vigil honoring Ramona H.S. teen

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  • THURSDAY, April 11, 2013

    Taylor Dorman Memorial Fund

    Taylor Dorman Memorial Fund

    Thursday, April 11 2013 7:06 PM EDT2013-04-11 23:06:05 GMT
    MEMORIAL FUND FOR TAYLOR DORMAN Donate to: Bank of Southern California 1315 Main Street in Ramona 
    MEMORIAL FUND FOR TAYLOR DORMAN Donate to: Bank of Southern California 1315 Main Street in Ramona 

RAMONA (CBS 8) - An emotional day at Ramona High School ended with a candlelight vigil at dusk for a 16-year-old who died after being hit in the chest with a softball.

For the second day in a row, Ramona High School students gathered around a growing memorial in honor of their friend and fellow classmate Taylor Dorman.

At 7:15pm Thursday night, Dorman's mother, Sue Kohler, joined a tearful candlelight vigil outside Ramona High School, where friends, family, and classmates gathered to remember Taylor.

"When this happened, my family wanted to crawl into a hole. We lost one of the most bright , shining lights in our life," said Kohler. " Hearing the tribute and seeing the outpouring of support provided a new perspective. That gave me strength. It gave me hope. It gave me a reason to get out of bed."

Kohler described her son as a fun-loving young man who loved his family, video games and friends.

"I think you all know that Taylor was an amazing person. He was very loving," she said. "He was the kid that when he had to run laps around the baseball field, and every time he ran by us standing at the fence, he had a big smile on his face. So that's the way he lived his life."

Kohler told News 8 that the San Diego County Medical Examiner had begun an autopsy on Thursday and determined that Dorman had an enlarged heart. The official cause of death has not been confirmed.

Friends say Dorman, a sophomore, was hit with a ball during a game of "Over The Line" in P.E. class Wednesday. Witnesses say Dorman was still awake and talking after being hit and seemed fine. He continued playing and even joked with the student who had hit the ball. 

About 20 minutes later, according to friends and faculty at the school, Dorman collapsed.

He was airlifted to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido around 11 a.m. and a few hours later he was pronounced dead, according to school officials.

Friends say Wednesday also happened to be Dorman's 16th birthday.

Just hours after his death on Wednesday, friends and faculty gathered outside Ramona High School to set up a makeshift memorial to Dorman.

Students lit candles, cried, held each other, and released a bunch of balloons printed with the words "Happy Birthday" on them. Friends say they were planning a birthday party for Dorman this weekend, and are devastating that they will be attending his funeral instead.

The 16-year-old is being remembered as a soft spoken teddy bear who always had a smile on his face.

"He was like one of the best people I knew. You could trust him with anything," a friend said.

"He was always happy and always smiling. And even when it was a bad day he would always bring just so much happiness," another classmate said.

The tragedy without question has been difficult to understand or accept. Counselors spent Thursday on campus consoling students and listening to their concerns.

"You know, they're really isn't a book for this kind of thing. We'll just work through it," Principal Tony Newman said.

Plans for a memorial service for Taylor Dorman are still pending.

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