Photo Gallery 5 Images
ASHLAND, Ore. -- A community mourned the loss of a well-loved musician, friend, co-worker and husband following a deadly car crash near Ashland on Saturday evening.
On Monday, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office confirmed that 27-year-old Anthony Tomas Panter was the only victim of a two-vehicle wreck on Eagle Mill Road.
Credit: Standing Stone Brewing Co. / Facebook
Since news of the crash, friends and family of Panter have released an outpouring of grief and memories on social media. Panter was a musician active in the Rogue Valley community and an employee of Standing Stone Brewing Company in Ashland. A GoFundMe set up to support his wife and family has already raised more than $10,000.
"Anthony was well known within the church for not only leading people into worship but also showing others what true faith looks like even in the midst of difficult times by clinging to the gospel," wrote organizer Evan Tucker. "He was an amazing musician who played in several bands and even had a podcast with his wife sharing their love of anime. Lauren, Anthony’s wife, has a long journey of healing ahead of her."
Anthony and Lauren married in 2017, friends told NewsWatch 12.
"Our regulars will remember Anthony as a charismatic, enthusiastic and competent bartender," Standing Stone said in a Facebook post over the weekend. "We are pouring one out for you tonight Anthony. We love you."
"It's hard . . . he's a good man, he's a wonderful musician, and he meant a lot to a lot of people," said Nathan Scherrer, head audio technician for the Eaden Ballroom in Grants Pass.
Panter performed at the Ballroom frequently with his several bands, playing his last show there on September 22. Scherrer said that the two of them became "fast friends" because of those performances over the preceding years, and because of the kind of person that Panter was.
"He cared about you, he cared about what was going on in your life, and he cared about sharing where he was with you — in that place and that time . . . he wanted to be with people," said Scherrer.
David Heisner, building steward at the Ballroom, said that he's known Panter since the venue began more than seven years ago. He describes Panter as being honest, passionate, and loving.
"It's hard to lose someone close to you, it's hard to think of not having them as a part of that — not seeing them at the next show," said Heisner. "Our heart goes out to his family and his wife, everyone within that group."
The crash happened around 7:45 p.m. in the 1200-block of Eagle Mill Road. On Saturday evening, a Sergeant with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office told NewsWatch 12 that two cars were involved, but many of the circumstances surrounding the crash remained under investigation.
The Sheriff's Office released further details on Monday, including the names of those involved. According to a statement, 23-year-old Skyler Miller of Ashland and an unidentified passenger were driving southbound in a 2018 Chevy Silverado pickup truck on Eagle Mill Road when they struck Panter's 2010 Toyota Prius on the driver's side. Both Miller and the passenger were reportedly uninjured.
"The pickup was on fire as emergency personnel arrived," the Sheriff's Office said.
The inter-agency Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team (STAR) is still investigating the collision, according to the Sheriff's Office.