Last respects held tomorrow for Alum

Funeral services are set for Wednesday for alum and University employee, Rhonda D. Crittendon, who died last week. Her car was struck from behind on State Route 25 in Perrysburg.

Last Thursday evening Crittendon, 24, had stopped her car southbound near Five Point Road. She was adjusting her two-year-old son’s seatbelt when her car was hit by a sport utility vehicle, Perrysburg police said.

The other driver, Timothy J. Krucki, of Findlay, told police that he was talking with his son Kevin when he “suddenly noticed [the] car dead in front of me.” He said he tried to stop, but “hit her vehicle at close to full speed” with his GMC Yukon.

No citations were issued in the crash, although that doesn’t rule out the possibility that charges could be filed later, police said.

Crittendon died on the scene.

Her son, Javien Lawson, was flown by air ambulance to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. He has since been transferred to Rainbow Babies and Children Hospital in Cleveland where he is being treated for two broken legs and foot injuries. He is expected to fully recover, said his grandmother, Trenise Jones. Jones added that she will raise him.

Crittendon was on her cell phone talking to her mom, Jones, when she was hit.

After such a tragedy, Jones has been comforted by hearing from those with fond memories of her daughter.

“Whatever she did, she did her best at,” Jones said. “So many people have been telling me how wonderful she was. She touched so many lives.”

Originally from Cleveland, Crittendon graduated from East Technical High School. She was doing a year of national service in AmeriCorps, after she graduated from the University last May with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She was also working on a master’s degree from another school online at the time of her death, her co-workers said.

Most recently, Crittendon tutored elementary school students as the Reading A-Z Program Coordinator in Grand Rapids, Ohio. She did that work as an AmeriCorps volunteer, based on campus at Bowling Green State University.

She worked closely with Ed Newman, from the Wood County Core Program.

“She really enjoyed working with children, very positive upbeat person, she just always was in a good mood, always smiling,” Newman said.

Jane Rosser also worked with Crittendon, whom she called a “great young person doing great things in the community.”

According to her friend Abibo Ngandu, Crittendon’s brother has just returned from serving in the military in Iraq, and they were to reunite in two weeks.

Ngandu has known her for five years, after meeting Crittendon when she first came to BGSU. They worked together at a factory, Molten on North Enterprise. They remained friends for years, even dating for a while, he said.

“She was the kind of person that would think of others before she would think of herself, everything she would do was out of the goodness of her heart,” Ngandu said. “Great mother, great friend. I almost feel I know what an angel looks like.”

Editor’s note: Crittendon’s former co-workers at AmeriCorps are planning to set up a fund to collect donations for her son, Javien. For more information, call Ed Newman in his office on campus, 419-372-9625.

Services will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday in Cleveland, at Fifth Christian Church, 14109 Benwood Ave.