Fort Collins high school athlete dies after mystery illness

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Taylor Gaes, a Poudre High School quarterback and pitcher, died suddenly on Monday, June 9, 2015. (Photo: GoFundMe)

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A 16-year-old athlete at Poudre High School in Fort Collins died Monday after reportedly suffering flulike symptoms.

Taylor Gaes, of Livermore, was taken to the hospital Monday because of severe pain but died. Autopsy results are pending, the Coloradoan reported.

Gaes was a quarterback and pitcher at the school, and there was a candlelight vigil Wednesday night at the Colorado State University Equine Center.

“It makes a parent proud to see how many lives Taylor touched and who touched Taylor’s,” his father, Shannon Gaes, said at the vigil. “You absolutely never know when the last day will come.”

Gaes would have been a junior at the school later this year. He is the third student at the school to have died this year, the Coloradoan reported.

Student Victoria Archibald, 16, was killed Feb. 9 while walking on train tracks in Wellington. Student Mason Pascoe, 15, died Feb. 15 while on a utility terrain vehicle.

A fourth student, Connor Walsh, 16, was struck by a hit-and-run driver while walking to school on March 10 and is paralyzed but recovering.

A GoFundMe page has been established for Gaes’ family.