“Home and Away” star Jessica Falkholt has been removed from life support two weeks after a fiery crash that claimed the lives of her parents and younger sister.
The Dec. 26, 2017, crash occurred on the New South Wales Coast near Sydney, Australia, and was allegedly caused by a “serial traffic offender” with more than 60 convictions on his record, according to Metro.
Annabelle was transported to Liverpool Hospital, where she died three days later. Jessica was sent to St. George’s Hospital, and has undergone multiple surgeries including having part of her skull and a kidney removed. She had reportedly been in a coma since her arrival.
The driver of the other car, Craig Anthony Whitall, 50, did not survive the crash.
According to The Telegraph, Whitall’s driving record includes four jail sentences for traffic offenses, a nine-year driving ban, and “at least 10 convictions for driving while disqualified.”
Whitall was driving home from a methadone clinic when his Toyota SUV allegedly crossed into the path of the vehicle carrying the Falkholts. The family was returning from Christmas holiday.
According to police records, Whitall had used 28 different aliases over the years in his efforts to avoid the police due to his long list of driving offenses. Of his nine convictions for driving without a license, four incidents occurred in a single month.
According to police, witnesses observed Whitall’s vehicle driving erratically and crossing the center divider onto
the opposite side of the road on multiple occasions on the day of the head-on crash.
After two driving bans and multiple convictions, including three for driving over the alcohol limit and one for driving under the influence of drugs, Whitall still managed to get his driving license back in December 2016.
Jessica was born in Sydney and studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art before landing her first acting roles. She is best known for her recurring role as Hope Morrison in the series “Home and Away.” She had just completed filming for the title role in “Harmony,” scheduled for a 2018 theatrical release.
A family friend said, “They were a very close family and had been on a quiet getaway,”
according to The Telegraph as reported by Sydney Morning Herald. “Jessica is a most beautiful person.”