WA basketball community in mourning after star player dies after car crash
Anthony Exeter is being described by his family as “being able to make any situation fun”. (Supplied: Juliet Coghlan)
Family and friends of former Western Australian basketball player Anthony Exeter have confirmed his death, just days after he was injured when a piece of a boat flew into his car in the state’s south-west.
The 41-year-old father-of-two played more than 300 games for the Rockingham Flames and Perth Redbacks during his time with the State Basketball League.
Mr Exeter was driving on Bussell Highway in Ludlow on Friday afternoon when an object flew off a boat trailer being towed by a white 4WD and hit his vehicle.
His wife and children were in the car but were not seriously injured.
He was airlifted to Royal Perth Hospital with serious injuries.
Devastated is ‘understatement’
On social media, his wife Kelly Exeter confirmed the death of her “soulmate” overnight and said he suffered catastrophic brain damage from which he could not recover.
Mr Exeter suffered serious injuries when a piece of boat hit his car on Friday afternoon. (ABC News)
“I got the chance to sleep hand-in-hand with my soulmate,” she said.
“He passed away peacefully shortly after breathing tubes were removed.
“To say we are devastated is an understatement.”
Brother-in-law Rory Mouttet praised Mr Exeter as a father, brother, friend and leader.
“He filled a gap in my life and was a true brother,” he said.
“It’s wrong, it hurts, but our family is strong.”
His family described Mr Exeter’s love of life and ability to live in the moment.
“He found a way to make any situation fun — whether it was drinks at the pub with his friends or breaking up a squabble between his two children,” a statement read.
The family said they were humbled by the outpouring of support from the community.
Sympathy from basketball community
In the wake of the crash on Friday afternoon, prayers and condolences have come from various basketball clubs and sporting associations.
Mr Exeter was an inaugural member of the Rockingham Flames in the State Basketball League.
Mr Exeter played more than 300 games for the Rockingham Flames and Perth Redbacks. (Supplied: WA Police)
The club have paid tribute to him as a greatly respected and admired player.
“The Rockingham Flames family join with the entire basketball community in sending their heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends,” they said.
Mr Exeter was named State Basketball League Rookie of the Year in 1995 and the League’s most valuable player in 2000.
“The SBL is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of former Rockingham Flames and Perth Redbacks player Anthony Exeter,” a spokesperson for the League said.
“On behalf of everyone involved in the State Basketball League, we extend our deepest sympathy to Anthony’s family and friends.”
Perth Wildcats player Jesse Wagstaff said Mr Exeter’s death was tragic news for the tight-knit WA basketball community.
“I didn’t know him personally but a lot of guys I played with were very close with him,” he said.
“It was obviously a freak accident, a huge tragedy. Obviously, his family needs support.”
No charges laid
A police spokesman said the driver of the other car had come forward and was assisting officers with inquiries.
“He arrived at his destination and became aware of the appeal for information and, believing his vehicle was the one being referred to, he contacted police and provided his details and current location,” the spokesman said.
A boat has been seized as part of the investigation.
Police are still appealing for anyone with information or dash cam footage to come forward.