Tributes and messages of condolences are flowing in from around the state for the St John WA paramedic who was killed in a car crash in Forrestdale in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
About 1.35am, a St John WA specialist vehicle crashed at the intersection of Armadale and Anstey Roads.
The driver and single occupant, 38-year-old Tinesh Tamilkodi, died at the scene.
He was responding to a priority call-out when the crash occurred.
St John WA group chief executive Kevin Brown said it was an “understatement” to say they were “devastated”.
He said Mr Tamilkodi’s death was not just a great loss to St John, but also to the wider community.
“Tinesh embodied all that was good about St John. He’s a caring individual and someone who just loved doing their job and serving the community.”
He thanked the crews who attended the scene: “I can’t imagine how harrowing it must have been for them”.
He also said Mr Tamilkodi’s death was unprecedented; he is the first paramedic in Western Australia to have died while on active duty.
Mr Tamilkodi’s family made a public statement on Tuesday and asked people around the state to go home and “hug their loved ones”.
“Our son and brother Tinesh always dreamed of being a paramedic and helping those who needed it most. We have lost a beloved family member and Western Australia has lost a dedicated servant who saved lives every day he went to work,” the family said.
They said he had recently celebrated ten years in his “dream job”.
Colleagues and members of the community have been offering their heartfelt words online since the tragedy.
“Tinesh chose to volunteer his spare time with us to help terminally-ill West Australians fulfil their final wishes – an act which he said was ‘a way to give back a little love to those in need’. We are heartbroken to hear of Tinesh’s passing but very privileged to have had the honour of knowing him,” Ambulance Wish Western Australia said.
“Heartbreaking. Tinesh, such a beautiful, kind, gentle guy. It was a pleasure to have volunteered with you,” Debra Whittaker said.
“Sending our heartfelt condolences to St John WA and the families and friends affected by this morning’s tragic event. This terrible loss reminds us of the extraordinary commitment and sacrifices made by emergency services personnel, who go above and beyond for our community,” the Department of Fire and Emergency Services said.
“The light this man brought into the office every shift and on the road is unmatched; his smile and joy was infectious, it was impossible to be upset around him. He stood by me through some of my toughest jobs… he was truly a man like no other, a hero and support in every situation.
“Your shift is done, we’ve got it from here. One final ’89 and goodnight’, my friend and colleague,” – Brooke Lincoln
Major Crash investigators are conducting an examination of the scene and are appealing for any witnesses to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report the information online at www.crimestopperswa.com.au