Jerilderie's Ambrose Crittenden died following a car crash not far from his home on Sunday. His family opened up in tribute of their lost son and brother just a day later.ZOE MCMAUGH April 10, 2014 3:23am
Ambrose Crittenden will be remembered by a lot of people for a lot of different things, but older brother Hamish says his sense of humour and ‘‘goofy smile’’ will be most missed.
Ambrose, 23, died after crashing his car at Jerilderie early Sunday morning, not far from the front gate of the home he shared with his father John, mother Jenny and twin brother Ignatius.
He was driving his Mercedes Benz on Showground Rd when, about 2.40am, the car left the road and hit a tree.
First to respond to the crash was the Jerilderie NSW Fire & Rescue, a crew he worked side-by-side with as a local firefighter himself.
Tragically his father, the deputy captain of the brigade, was second to arrive on the scene on the way to the call-out, administering CPR to his son.
The crew was able to keep Ambrose alive and get him into an ambulance, where he was rushed to Berrigan hospital before being transported to Albury Base Hospital for emergency surgery.
He was not able to be stabilised during surgery and he died at 3pm that afternoon with his family at his bedside.
‘‘There was a huge effort put in by Ambrose’s crew mates to keep him alive, which his family would very much like to acknowledge,’’ Hamish said.
‘‘He served the community and was served by the community in the end.’’
Hamish said Ambrose loved being close to family, which is why he returned to Jerilderie after completing a university degree to take an apprenticeship at their father’s business, Crittenden Heating & Cooling. It’s also why he chose to still live at home with his parents, Hamish said.
‘‘He’s one of six children; the twins are the youngest and then there’s Simon, Breony, myself and Emily.
‘‘I’m 10 years older than Ambrose and Ignatius and being twins they were very busy. Mum needed all of us to help with them growing up and it was a real joy to do so.
‘‘He was a wonderful uncle to Mabel, Eoin, Irma, Charlie and Aloysius.
‘‘He was a best mate to all of us, including mum and dad, but all for different reasons — he was Ignatius’ best mate because they were twins and really close, and dad’s best mate because they worked so closely together.
‘‘After finishing high school, Ambrose cashed in his TER (tertiary entrance rank) to do a psychology degree but then decided to come back to Jerilderie and help dad in the business.
‘‘He would have been in many homes of people in the Southern Riverina and he loved to talk to everyone, especially the older ones who had great stories. He was a very personable guy.’’
Hamish said his brother would also be remembered for his quirky sense of humour and for being a genuine good guy.
‘‘He was probably one of the warmest and most generous people I have ever met – I think he’s one of the only people I know you could truly say doesn’t have a bad bone in his body,’’ Hamish said.
‘He would always jump out of his seat to help someone, he was completely selfless.
‘‘He is the kind of guy that would walk into a room with a goofy smile on his face – he really lit up a room and was just so warm.
‘‘He had a really quirky nature in his humour, he was entertaining in a completely original way.
‘‘Everyone’s just shocked that he is gone, everyone who knew him will have lost a piece of their hearts.’’
Ambrose started school at St Joseph’s Jerilderie, then had short stints at St Joseph’s Finley and Finley High School before finishing high school at St Patrick’s College in Ballarat.
He stayed in Ballarat for university but was keen to get home to Jerilderie.
Hamish said Ambrose had started to re-establish his home in Jerilderie, along with his twin. He had become a member of Apex and the town fire brigade.
A funeral service for Ambrose is yet to be confirmed, with some family travelling home from overseas to be there.
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