Beaufort News

Man killed in SC 170 wreck remembered as fun-loving, caring

Friends say Jason Anderson brought fun wherever he went.

A close friend recalled countless weekend gatherings for football and barbecue, with Anderson wildly cheering for the Gamecocks.

A former coworker at the Best Buy in Bluffton remembers how he always made her laugh when she was having a bad day.

A former Beaufort High School classmate recalled meeting Anderson for the first time after he walked into their second-period class belting "Headstrong" by the rock band Trapt at the top of his lungs.

Anderson, 27, of Beaufort died late Tuesday in a three-car wreck on S.C. 170 near Callawassie Island. Richard Allen Rottet, 17, a senior at Beaufort High School, also died in the crash, and 41-year-old Joseph Owens, of whom no details have been released, was taken to the hospital.

The S.C. Highway Patrol said it appears Rottet was driving west on S.C. 170 when his 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier veered into the eastbound lane near Old Baileys Road and collided with Anderson, who was driving his 2002 four-door Chevy sedan. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, according to Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins.

Jasper County Coroner Martin Sauls awaits results of autopsies being performed at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, but it already has been determined both men died from blunt-force trauma. Whether alcohol or other factors were involved won't be known until toxicology reports are completed, which typically takes four to six weeks. Friends remembered Anderson as someone they could depend on.

"If you needed to sit down and talk to get things off your mind, he was your guy," friend Chris Hooper said. "Just for a laugh, something serious -- anything."

Anderson and his wife of about four years, Carla, had a son, Charles, and a 4-month-old daughter, Audrey.

Anderson and his son -- his dad called him "my little man" -- shared a birthday, Hooper said. Charlie will turn 3 years old Saturday. Along with being fun-loving, Anderson was also known as a hard worker.

More than five years ago, he started out as a member of the Geek Squad customer-service team at the Bluffton Best Buy and later was promoted to supervisor of the home-theater section, according to former co-worker Khishawn Greene. He also worked on and off at Panini's Bar in Beaufort over several years, friend Cory Bradshaw said.

With each promotion he earned, he encouraged others to work their way up, too, Greene said.

"He was a real motivator to everyone he came in contact with," Greene said.

Bradshaw, who now lives in Tennessee, said his last phone conversation with Anderson was the day before he died. His friend talked about how much fun they would have together if Bradshaw visited Beaufort again soon.

"It didn't matter what it was, we just always had fun," Bradshaw said. "It's always going to feel like there's an empty seat at the table."

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