Taylors Helping Hands is a charitable organization dedicated to the memory of Taylor E Cothran.

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Freshman Mourned by Friends

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Capstone resident Cothran dies in hospital after four-story fall

Brad Maxwell
Staff Writer

Issue date: 10/15/07 Section: News


Taylor Cothran

Miguel Salehi lost one of his closest friends on Thursday morning to an unexpected accident.

"Right now we're all really sad about it. He was the embodiment of our teenage years," Salehi said.

Taylor Cothran, a first-year student from Greenville, died early Thursday morning after falling from his dorm room last week, according to Tammy Epps, a spokeswoman for Palmetto Health System.

Cothran, 18 years old, fell four stories from his fifth-floor window in Capstone House onto the roof of Gibbes Court cafeteria around 2 a.m. Friday, Oct. 5, according to USC.

Salehi, a first-year undecided student who was a good friend of Cothran, said that he is leaning on the support of a group of friends that grew up with Cothran.

He described Cothran as the "stereotypical teenage guy" with a good personality and tons of friends.

A Facebook group created in support of Cothran and his family has had numerous comments from friends, teachers and acquaintances. Many said they would miss Cothran's sense of humor and his friendship.

"He was funny all the time, witty and definitely a caring guy," Salehi said. "He would laugh in the face of danger. He's the reason our car insurance is more expensive than girls'."

Salehi said he and his friends have a lot of good memories of Cothran and are trying to focus on his life, not his death.

"We will always grieve the loss of our friend, and there is no amount of time that can pass that will heal our wound," Salehi said. "However, at a certain point we all have to stop crying and stop being sad about Taylor and instead celebrate and embrace his life."

According to Salehi, Cothran was an astounding student with high SAT scores.

Cothran was a Capstone Scholar and a graduate of J.L. Mann High School, according to his family's Web site. He was also a member of his high school lacrosse team.

President Andrew Sorensen offered support to Cothran's family and friends on behalf of USC.

"All of us in the university family extend our deepest sorrow and condolences to Taylor's family and friends," Sorensen said in a news release. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We also offer our support to our students, faculty and staff who would like assistance."

USC spokesman Russ McKinney said the university would consult with Cothran's family and friends about doing something in his memory.

Cothran was buried Sunday in a private service at Brookwood Church in Simpsonville, according to his family's Web site.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that contributions be made to Brookwood Children's Sponsorship Ministry in the Dominican Republic.