Jessica Falkholt died a tragic death more than three weeks after the horrific car crash that claimed the lives of her parents and sister.
The 28-year-old Home and Away actress was pronounced dead on Wednesday, six days after her family made the heartbreaking decision to switch off her life support. St. George Hospital released a statement on Wednesday carrying the sad news.
Jessica had undergone major surgeries and remained in a critical condition in the ICU at Sydney's St George Hospital since the Boxing Day crash that took place on the New South Wales south coast.
Devastated family members told Daily Mail Australia that while Jessica's demise is a sad time, they are comforted knowing she is one with her family again.
'We're all sad but she is with her family now. Her mum was her biggest supporter so I am sure she is in her arms," the relative said.
"It's an odd feeling, we always knew it was going to happen but no matter what it's a shock."
"On behalf of the family of Jessica Falkholt, St George Hospital has been asked to advise the media and the community of Jessica's passing today at 10.20am," the statement read.
"Jessica passed away from serious injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident on 26 December 2017. The family has asked for privacy during this very difficult time."
Following the announcement, heartfelt tributes were paid to the actress.
Jessica's former Home And Away co-star Pia Miller shared a picture of the pair on set alongside the caption: 'Farewell wonderful Jess.'
Channel Nine journalist Julie Snook wrote: "My heart goes out to the Falkholt family and Jessica's friends and colleagues. A devastating loss."
Summer Bay star James Stewart tweeted: "R.I.P Jessica Falkholt. Such a beautiful and talented soul- taken so soon and so tragically."
The close-knit Falkholt family was driving home to Sydney up the Princes Highway after a short festive break when they met with a head-on collision. Annabelle and Jessica were pulled out of the wreckage before it went up in flames killing their parents.
Annabelle, 21, passed away three days after the crash while Jessica stayed strong. There were hopes that the actress would make it, but they were all in vain. Jessica's life support was taken off just 24 hours after her parents and sister were laid to eternal rest in a heartbreaking funeral.
Vivian's brother Paul Ponticello told the service that this would be a Christmas that would haunt the family forever. "It is a day that will be difficult to erase from our memory," he said. "Their lives on this earth ending on a highway makes absolutely no sense."
The driver of the 4WD that slammed into the family's car, 50-year-old Craig Whitall, was traveling home from a Nowra methadone clinic when he too was killed in the crash.
The investigation into the crash will focus on whether Whitall was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. Whitall's extensive criminal record states he claimed a disability pension and used 28 aliases to avoid police, and he drove a car every day after he was caught breaking the law.
The state government says it will conduct a serious investigation that will look into the circumstances of the collision.
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