Residents of the Santa Clarita Valley and students at Hart High School spent their Fourth of July remembering one of their own, Collin Gore.
Absolutely heartbroken today.
— Hart High School (@HartHigh) July 4, 2017
Gore, a recent graduate of Hart High School, was co-captain of Hart’s Boys Varsity Swimming Team and was planning on “taking his talents” to San Diego State University in the fall.
Hart High School announced on its Twitter page that the school would be holding a candle light vigil for Gore at its school quad Tuesday at 8 p.m. The 2017 Swim Team’s varsity captains asked attendees to wear Hart Swim spirit wear in support of their teammate and friend.
During the brief vigil, Gore’s mother Daleen Buter reflected on her son and thanked the community for their outpouring of support on social media.
“Yes, this is the worst thing that could ever happen, but I find peace in knowing that my son was happy every single day of his 18 years of life,” Buter said, struggling to hold back tears.
Gore’s mother mustered the strength to continue on, just a mere 17 hours after her son’s life was cut short in the tragic crash.
“Someday it’ll be okay. It’ll never be right and it’ll never be the same, but it’ll be okay,” she said.
“He was a happy guy and the best kid and he did everything right. He smiled everyday and was happy everyday. So I have that as my memory forever,” she added.
“Wherever he walked into, he made that a better place,” Hart High Principal Dr. Collyn Nielsen said.
Nielsen, a father himself, worked through the evening to console the group of a few hundred students who came to the vigil to seek guidance and a firmer understanding of the feelings they encountered throughout Independence Day.
“We’re all dealing with a lot of emotions right now,” he said.
“Anger, pain, sadness. These are all normal emotions to go through.”
Hart High School Swim Coach Steve Neale said Gore was always generous with himself and his friends, willing to help anyone who needed him.
“He has that positive attitude where he can take difficult situations and turn it into a fun event for everyone around him,” Neale said. “If Collin was leading the parade you definitely wanted to join in and he had this gift of activating people and getting them to join in.”
Neale remembered how Gore spent time with one of his teammates who was injured in a car accident a year ago by bike riding with him to the pool and helping with his rehabilitation.
“He’s that kind of guy that would reach out and help when it was needed,” he said. “Anything he could do to include anybody and help anybody he was there for him… He was a ‘papa bear’ type.”
The Old Orchard II Shark Swim Team shared news of Gore’s passing on its Facebook page. According to the post, Gore aged out of the team’s 15/16 age group last year.
“I am so saddened to tell you all we have lost one of our own, Collin Gore,” the post read. “We are all so devastated by this loss…. He was full of energy and had an amazing spirit.”
The team is expected to hold its own team memorial and provide meals for the family later in the week.
On Tuesday, friends and classmates of Gore took to social media to remember the high school graduate.
Today the Hart Swim family lost an incredible Alumni member. Collin's positive energy and spirit was cherished by all. Rest In Peace. ❤ pic.twitter.com/CLpsp2awKN
— Hart Swim Team 2017 (@HartSwim2017) July 4, 2017
— Greg Borish (@hartborish) July 4, 2017
I'm truly at a loss of words. You were one of my best friends since 1st grade. The world won't be the same without you Collin. R.I.P
— Adam (@adamosowski1) July 4, 2017
I am so glad I got to know Collin as well as I did. Been friends since second grade. I love you my friend. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/visWyufvwC
— Chris Root (@DiabeticRandy) July 4, 2017
In disbelief and so hard to understand. My heart is heavy 💔 RIP Collin Gore…you will be missed❤️ pic.twitter.com/ywz0ULrZVh
— Jessica (@JessicaaRosee3) July 4, 2017
I'm so sorry that this happened to you. No one was more worthy to wear the H than you. Rest easy brother. Till I see you again, my friend. pic.twitter.com/OfCyMkIEFR
— Fuji-eye (@jasonfujii) July 4, 2017
This doesn't seem real. Rest In Peace my dude. I love you man💖 pic.twitter.com/uVz4ovf0dN
— Emilio Santoyo (@EMILI0_SANTOYO) July 4, 2017
I can't believe this is real. Collin I love you so much bro. You're such a funny, awesome guy and I'm so glad that we were close. Rest easy💔 pic.twitter.com/G2z4N7A3YH
— John (@john__campbell3) July 4, 2017
This boy was like a brother of mine, to think that he is gone now just breaks my heart. You had so much ahead of you. I love you Collin pic.twitter.com/gUtrgvxRjP
— Tyler Goeckeritz (@Tyler_Gogurtz) July 4, 2017
Nobody I knew could walk into a room and make everyone smile quite like you could Collin. RIP, to a friend, and a truly good person. pic.twitter.com/k4bJnkKTj8
— SamBurky (@SamBurky) July 4, 2017
Collin was easily one of the funniest, most uplifting and encouraging person I knew, just an all around positive guy. Rest easy my friend🙏🏼
— shane (@ShoonTmas) July 4, 2017
Can't believe you're gone so soon. I love you man. May you Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/FNo9dA4D7W
— Eisenhower (@theeddieike) July 4, 2017
We miss you already Collin. You lived every day to the fullest and your life was cut short. Until we meet again, love you buddy #onehart
— The Tribe (@TheTribeHHS) July 4, 2017
This is unreal. You're such a funny and overall great guy with big things ahead of you. I love you bro, Rest In Peace pic.twitter.com/BUGEIgssL2
— Nelson (@nelsoncampbell_) July 4, 2017
Ok I feel like my last tweet just wasn't enough… pic.twitter.com/vC4eFUcW06
— Ethan Wellins (@ethan_wellins) July 4, 2017
Collin Gore was one of the best friends anyone could have. He was going to do amazing things in his life. Rest in peace Collin Gore ❤
— the S.Q.U.I.R.R.E.L (@roboturtle99) July 4, 2017
No words can describe how amazing and genuine you are, or how much you are loved. RIP Collin Gore you could put a smile on anyone's face. pic.twitter.com/NmQurUEEO1
— Maxx James (@sliferdude42) July 4, 2017