A Heritage High School senior and his eighth grade sister were killed in an accident Thursday morning when they lost control and crashed on McDaniel Mill Road.
Karl Michael Anschutz, 18, was driving his sister, Laura Ann Anschutz, 13, to school at Davis Middle School around 7:30 a.m. when they went over a hill and around a curve on McDaniel Mill Road, according to the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office. The driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle and overcorrected into the path of an oncoming pickup truck. The teens died at the crash site. The driver of the pickup truck was transported to Atlanta Medical Hospital and later released.
Karl was an AP Scholar senior at Heritage, where he played trumpet in the marching, jazz and symphonic bands, and had been accepted to Georgia Tech, where he planned to major in mechanical engineering. He was also an active Eagle Scout with Boy Scout Troop and Crew 410. He was a staff member with the Boy Scout Summer Camp at the Bert Adams Scout Reservation as an Outdoor Skills instructor in 2009 and Archery Director in 2010. He attended Philmont Scout Ranch in 2009.
Heritage Band Director Scott Smith said students were in the band room all day Thursday, grieving and comforting one another. Karl had been a part of the band all four years of high school and he had just performed with the jazz band last week at the Macon Cherry Blossom Festival.
"He was a great trumpet player, a great student, and very well liked by all his peers. If there was ever any doubt about how his peers saw him, yesterday answered that," said Smith. "I feel fortunate that I got to be his teacher for the past four years and that his family was a part of our organization.
"Karl will be missed," said Smith. "We call the band a family. Our students are very close and it is hitting everyone hard that we lost a member of our family. John and Terri Anschutz are a part of the band booster executive board and were in charge of our concession stand. They are close friends with a lot of our band parents. Laura came to a lot of our events with her parents and I know the Davis (Middle School) family is hurting from her loss."
Laura was described as caring, loving person who excelled at all she did and brought everyone up with her. She was an honor student with a record for perfect attendance for the past seven years. won in the county science fair for the past three years and placed in the state-wide fair. But in addition to academics, she enjoyed drama and played alto sax in the school band.
Darvin K. McRoy, Band Director at General Ray Davis Middle School, said "As a teacher this is something you never prepare yourself for. Laura was an amazing spirit in the band and we are going to have to make sure that spirit stays with us. Like all families, the DMS Band is pulling together to get through this. We lost a very dear family member, and like all families we will get through this. Because she was at school every day you just take for granted that she will be here today and tomorrow. I will really miss her. We will miss her. I am just glad that I had some time to spend with one of God's truly special people."
They are survived by their mother Terri, an employee of the Rockdale County Public School System, and father John Anschutz, paternal grandparents Werner and Ann Anschutz, maternal grandmother Susan Bridges and step-grandfather Bobby, maternal grandfather Bruce Cole and step-grandmother Sharon; uncle and aunt Tom and Rosa Anschutz and cousins Stephan and Philip, uncle and aunt Jim and Kay Cole and cousins Christy and Cassidy, aunt and uncle Jennifer and Michael Simpson, aunt and uncle Heather and Scott Thompson, aunt and uncle Kara and Scott Ellis and cousin Kole.
A memorial service and reception will be held Sunday at Heritage Hills Baptist Church, on the corner of Ga. Highway 212 and Smryna Road. The family will receive visitors starting at 2 p.m. and the memorial service will be at 3 p.m. with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the "Shepherd Center for the benefit of Karl Michael and Laura Ann Assistive Technology Fund" to the attention of Mr. Dean Melcher, Shepherd Center Hospital, 2020 Peachtree Rd, NW, Atlanta, GA 30309 or can be made on-line at www.shepherd.org