'Home and Away' star Jessica Falkholt dies after family decides to turn off life support
The Boxing Day horror crash that wiped out Jessica's entire family off the face of this planet has now taken her life as well. After slipping into a coma and being held in intensive care, the actress has succumbed to her injuries.
A day after her beloved parents and sister were laid to rest on Wednesday, Home and Away actress Jessica Falkholt died as her family and friends decided to turn off her life support. The entire family was involved in a horrific crash that took place in New South Wales on December 26.
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 that had previously killed Jessica's parents, Lars, 69, and Vivian, 60 and her sister Annabelle, 21.
Jessica's parents passed away on the spot when their car went up in flames. Annabelle and Jessica herself were pulled out of the wreckage minutes before the explosion devoured her parents. Annabelle was flown to Liverpool Hospital where she remained in a critical condition before passing away three days after the crash.
"Jessica and Annabelle had shared a beautiful bond and they were inseparable sisters who truly cared for one another. They had such a strong sister bond. They are seriously close sisters. I feel Jessica would have known her sister has passed," a relative of the family mentioned on the passing away of Annabelle.
Jessica had undergone major surgeries since the crash but remained in a coma. The decision to switch off her life support came a day after Jessica's family was laid to rest in what was an emotional and heartbreaking funeral on Wednesday. Her devastated family had their hopes while they kept a bedside vigil in the Intensive Care Unit at St George's hospital where Jessica remained in a sleep-induced coma.
Relatives of the family had earlier reported to Daily Mail Australia that the operation that was conducted on her brain had gone well and they were waiting for the results of the surgery.
Hundreds of friends and family gathered at St Marys Catholic Church for the funeral of Lars, his wife Vivian, and their daughter Annabelle. Their loss was mourned and their existence remembered. Jordan Brohier, the boyfriend of Annabelle who had his heart broken, had paid a heartfelt tribute on Facebook for the 'love of his life,' when she had passed away.
Jordan led pallbearers as they carried her coffin out of the church. Dressed in black, his sorrow was evidently heartbreaking and emotional. With his face buried in his hands, he was comforted by friends as he loaded her casket into a hearse that was ready to be taken away for burial.
Lars and Vivian's coffins were adorned with white flowers while pink flowers on that of Annabelle's.
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."
Ponticello also thanked the people who risked their lives to pull out Jessica and Annabelle from the inferno. He said Lars was known to be a focused and careful driver and he would often joke about having to add time to any trip, which he called the 'Lars factor'.
"The irony of this tragedy is Lars was such a careful driver," Ponticello said.
A relative told The Daily Mail that they had made it a priority to focus all their attention towards the support Jessica received ever since the accident and throughout the time of the funeral.
"We made sure Jess wasn't alone and her friends were able to be there with her," the relative mentioned.
"Everything we have done and every decision we have made has been done with the advice of doctors and social workers. No decision is made without Jessica's wants in mind.
"Jess was a very private girl and while we're thankful for public thoughts and interest, we are just trying to honor what she'd want."
Jessica had been the sole survivor of the crash and keeping her best interest in mind, the family decided to turn off her life support when her condition failed to improve. The well-known actress spent her New Years clinging to her life after suffering major trauma and injuries when the driving offender Craig Whitall, 50, smashed head-on into her family's car last month.
Whitall, who also passed away in the car crash, killed a family of four. Police still continue to investigate the crash and locals have described Whitall as a "serial traffic offender."
It was reported by The Daily Telegraph that Whitall had previously faced consequences of similar nature, had been jailed and disqualified from driving. The man's extensive criminal record states that he had been caught driving twice without a license and had also been convicted three times on the grounds of driving while over the alcohol limit, once for driving under the influence of drugs and twice for dangerous driving.
Following the crash, Superintendent David Johnson of Queensland’s Road Policing Command said too many lives had been lost on the roads due to irresponsible drivers who in failing to think for their own life also have no remorse or responsibility in thinking about the lives of others.
He said the police would now be tracking drivers committing offenses of speeding, drink and drug driving, distraction, fatigue and seat belts.
Ponticello also spoke of the love between Lars and Vivian, saying they were inseparable and this tragic end “makes absolutely no sense”.
“I always thought we would grow old together,” he said.
“They are together and always will be ... You will always be remembered and in our hearts forever. Rest in Peace.”
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