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
Taylor 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 held Thursday evening and students wrote messages at a makeshift memorial.
Amanda Hartness, told 10News that her brother, who is Dorman's best friend, is devastated.
"He locked himself in his room," said Hartness. "He hasn't been talking to anybody."
Others said they were still in shock.
"It's just one of those freak things you know," said Trae Rodriguez. "Stuff like that happens and you ... kind of always have to get ready for it, but no one ever expects it to happen to them."
Wednesday also happened to be Dorman's 16th birthday. Instead of celebrating his birthday, the teens grieved for their friend.
"You don't get very many people like that in the world and here we are having one of these people that are just gone so soon," said Rose Wolfe, a classmate.
Family and friends announced that a candlelight vigil would be held Thursday at 7:15 p.m. in front of Ramona High School.
On Friday, at 5 p.m., a birthday celebration for Dorman will be held at Collier Park (626 E Street in Ramona).