JARROD Smith was a “massive man, but his heart was even bigger”.
Married just four months ago to a woman he adored, the 35-year-old Hanwood local had plenty to live for – most of all his seven children.
But on Sunday, Mr Smith’s life was tragically cut short.
At 8.30pm, his wife, Kirsti, was driving the family back from Darlington Point, where they had spent the afternoon at a birthday party.
They were close to home on Sainty Road when Mr Smith opened the door of the car and accidentally fell from the vehicle.
Mrs Smith and 18-year-old daughter Alkiera worked to revive Mr Smith until police and paramedics arrived but there was little anyone could do and he was pronounced dead at Griffith Base Hospital later that night.
A devastated Mrs Smith is struggling to comprehend how life will go on without her husband.
“You know how you just click with someone and even if you’ve only known them 10 minutes, it feels like you’ve known them 10 years,” Mrs Smith said.
“I’ll miss everything about him – he was an amazing person, just a really good bloke.”
Born and raised in Hanwood, Mr Smith worked as a harvester and farm hand for Tropeano Grape Harvesting.
Family was his greatest love in life, though he was passionate about fishing, cars and motorbikes and also playing the organ – a skill he picked up from his late mother, Shirley.
“Whatever he tried he was good at, he was one of those people that can just do anything,” Mrs Smith said.
“He worked very hard and he always enjoyed a few beers with his mates after work.”
The couple met at a family wedding in 2002 and after a nine-year engagement, their own wedding day on November 3 last year was one of the happiest of Mr Smith’s life.
His mother-in-law Sherry Granger had never seen him smile so much.
“He sent Kirsti flowers just before the wedding, telling her not to be late because he couldn’t wait to marry her,” Mrs Granger said.
“He was so happy to have his family, he was such a proud dad.”
Mr Smith’s brothers were his “best mates” and he never stopped bugging his older sister Mel. He was there for them “whenever they needed”.
His dad Bill was never far away – the pair spent countless hours tinkering in the shed together.
For the couple’s children Alkiera, 18, Christopher, 15, Sineytah, 12, Leilani, 10, Jyden, 9, Jesse (deceased), Riley, 4, and Kailei, 2, Mr Smith’s death has come as a huge shock.
“I’m so proud of Alkiera, she kept me calm and she tried so hard to revive him,” Mrs Smith said.
“Some of the kids just block it out, some can’t stop crying and the younger two don’t really understand.”
Mrs Smith wanted to thank police and paramedics who attended the accident.
“The police were really good and so were the paramedics, I just want to thank them for everything they did.”
Mrs Smith and her family are now in the process of finalising funeral arrangements for the “gentle giant”, who will be forever remembered as a “dependable, trustworthy, reliable and amazing man”.