Water polo honor given in name of boy killed in Westminster road rage shooting

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THORNTON, Colo. — A special honor was given Sunday in the name of Vaughn Bigelow Jr., the 13-year-old boy who was killed in a road rage shooting last year.

The Vaughn Bigelow Jr. Sportsmanship Award was handed out at the Grier Laughlin Memorial Invitational water polo tournament in Thornton.

The tournament was named after a man who worked to build up water polo as a sport in Colorado. Grier Laughlin was killed by a wrong-way driver who hit his SUV head-on in 2011.

One of Grier’s best friends was Vaughn Bigelow Sr., whose son Vaughn Jr. also played water polo.

Last year, the 13-year-old was shot and killed in a horrific road rage incident that also seriously injured his mother and brother.

The award bearing his name was given to Cayden De Keno.

“I feel really blessed,” De Keno said.

It was a celebration, after two families — friends for decades — each turned their own personal tragedies into a positive experience for others.

The Bigelow family has also started a non-profit called the Big Waves Foundation that helps enrich the lives of kids through water polo.

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