SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – Tragedy has hit Sharon High School’s senior class again.
Robbie VanHorn died Tuesday night in what police say was an accident at home.
He was on the varsity swim team, participated in track and played in the high school band. Sharon High School principal Michael Fitzgerald said when VanHorn went into a room, he could make anyone smile.
His death comes just months after two senior football players at Sharon were killed in a car accident. Counselors have been brought in for students and staff.
“One thing I have learned here is that the kids are resilient. You know, they bounce back very quickly. They understand and they’ll ask the questions of the what and the whys and those are the questions that are difficult to answer, especially when you don’t know them. So to continue to provide them support, let them know that we’re here to help,” Fitzgerald said.
The principal said he did not know the details of VanHorn’s death, but that it was an accident at home.
Sharon Police Chief Michael Menster confirmed it was an accident at home, and referred our reporter to the coroner. The coroner said he did not yet have a cause of death.
Sharon’s swim team finished up its dual meet season the night before VanHorn died. The team is getting ready for its district meet next Friday.
Varsity swim coach Eric Wenger said the swim team flies under the radar, but the swimmers are talking about ways to remember their teammate at that meet. VanHorn joined the team as a freshman and Wenger said everyone at school knew who he was.
“Robbie always had this signature trademark of doing sort of a little dance on the block before he would race so everybody knows him. So there will be a lot of questions when we get there. That’s why we’re having a meeting today to prepare the kids,” Wenger said.
Wenger said VanHorn knew how to get the job done. He said VanHorn went to swim clinics and even joined another team during the off-season to make himself better.
“One of his goals this year was to try and do more events than he’s ever done before, to try out the ones that usually everyone dislikes and in the last few meets, he accomplished that goal,” Wenger said.
A benefit in VanHorn’s honor will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the High Street Pub & Grill in Sharpsville. It will be a “pass the hat” event, with all proceeds going to his parents to help offset funeral expenses.