RAMONA TEEN HIT BY BALL IN CHEST DIES ON HIS 16TH BIRTHDAY

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By Miriam Raftery

Photo Courtesy 10 News

April 10, 2013 (Ramona) – Students and faculty at Ramona High School are reacting with shock and sadness to the death of Taylor Dorman, 16.  He was accidentally hit in the chest with a ball during an over –the-line game in physical education class late this morning. 

The teen initially showed no sign of trauma and continued playing the game, Assistant Principal Kathryn Gunderson told the U-T San Diego. But 20 minutes later, he collapsed after walking across the field with a friend.  A teacher called 911 and Mercy Air landed at the school to fly Taylor to Palomar Medical Center, where he died at approximately 4 p.m.

“He was a great young man,’ principal Tony Newman said, the Ramona Sentinel reporter. “He was very well-liked on campus…We will remember some good memories and keep them alive in our hearts and our thoughts and our conversations.”

Newman also voiced concern for the batter who hit the line drive that slammed into Taylor’s chest.  “It was an accident and was not his fault,” he emphasized.

The medical journal Pediatrics has reported in 2012 that youth deaths from baseball  are rare, averaging two a year for the ten years from 1996 t0 2006. A blow to the chest can prove fatal by causing a sudden irregular heartbeat, the article indicates.

The ball used in the over-the-line game was softer than a baseball or softball, according to ECM news partner 10 News.

Taylor played on the  Ramona High School football team and was passionate about surfing and video games, said Navar Findley, the U-T San Diego reported. Navar called Taylor his best friend, “the guy who walks up and cheers up your day.”

Tomorrow,  a crisis team of counselors and psychologists will be at the school to help students and staff cope with the tragedy.

Fellow students held a vigil this evening outside the school, releasing 16 balloons in honor of Taylor’s 16th birthday, which was today. 

Some students expressed their grief on social media.

“RIP, Taylor Dorman,” Katie Scroggins posted on Facebook, voicing the sentiments of many. “ You will be missed by many.”