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Home and Away star and sister fight for life after crash

Family members continue to hold a bedside vigil for a Home and Away actress and her younger sister involved in a horror Boxing Day car crash that killed their parents.

Jessica Falkholt, 28, and her sister Annabelle, 21, were pulled alive from the wreck of their car after a head-on crash at Mondayong, on the NSW south coast, on Tuesday.

Brave motorists risked their lives to drag Jessica – an actress best known for playing ‘Hope Morrison’ on Home and Away – and Annabelle from the wreck of their Mazda.

The girls’ parents Lars, 69, and Vivian, 60, were killed instantly along with the driver of the other car Craig Anthony Whitall, 50, who was at the wheel of a Toyota Prado.

With Jessica in a critical condition at St George Hospital and Annabelle fighting for life at Liverpool Hospital, family members told Daily Mail Australia they are spending time by the beds of both girls – with neither yet aware their parents are dead.

 

Her younger sister Annabelle (pictured) is also in a critical condition following the crash

Former Home and Away actress Jessica Falkholt (left) and her younger sister Annabelle (right) are both fighting for their lives in hospital after a devastating head-on crash on Boxing Day

The girls were dragged from the firey wreckage of the crash by brave witnesses. Their parents Lars, 69, and Vivian, 60, along with the driver of the other car Craig Anthony Whitall, 50, died in the accident. Pictured: The horrific crash scene

The girls were dragged from the firey wreckage of the crash by brave witnesses. Their parents Lars, 69, and Vivian, 60, along with the driver of the other car Craig Anthony Whitall, 50, died in the accident. Pictured: The horrific crash scene

One family member said both of Jessica and Annabelle were still in the Intensive Care Unit, but that they had members from both sides of their multicultural family around them.

‘Both girls are still in ICU and have family surrounding them the whole time,’ she said.

‘We’re a big Italian and Swedish family so all of us are sticking together and going between the two. 

‘We don’t get many updates we just get to be with them. ICU (staff) are amazing but they have jobs to do and we’d rather they look after the girls then worry about us.’  

Police are currently investigating if Mr Whitall was on his mobile phone before his car crossed over to the other side, causing the crash, The Daily Telegraph reports.

A fire then ‘incinerated’ both cars before motorists pulled free the women. So badly burnt were the bodies of their parents, they had to be identified by dental records. 

'The injuries on the two girls will be something I won't forget in a long time,' witness Darrin Collier said

‘The injuries on the two girls will be something I won’t forget in a long time,’ witness Darrin Collier said

The sisters were injured in a horrific Boxing Day crash which killed their parents, Lars Falkholt, 69, and Vivian, 60. They were identified with dental records after being burned in the aftermath of the crash 

The sisters were injured in a horrific Boxing Day crash which killed their parents, Lars Falkholt, 69, and Vivian, 60. They were identified with dental records after being burned in the aftermath of the crash 

Police said the crash was caused by one car being on the wrong side of the road. It is believed to be a Toyota Prado driven by Craig Anthony Whitall, 50, who also died at the scene 

Police said the crash was caused by one car being on the wrong side of the road. It is believed to be a Toyota Prado driven by Craig Anthony Whitall, 50, who also died at the scene 

The bodies of the parents were only identified thanks to dental records because they were so badly burned, SBS reports. Pictured: Jessica filming Home and Away 

The bodies of the parents were only identified thanks to dental records because they were so badly burned, SBS reports. Pictured: Jessica filming Home and Away 

Darrin Collier saw the crash from his car and helped emergency services free the women.

In a Facebook post he said he was still shaken by the accident.

‘The injuries on the two girls will be something I won’t forget in a long time,’ he said.   

Jessica appeared as Hope Morrison on Home and Away in 2016, and also on Underbelly: Badness and in stage plays.

She also starred in the supernatural thriller, Harmony, set to be released in 2018. 

According to her profile on the National Institute of Dramatic Art’s website, Jessica has featured in television commercials and in guest roles on Australian television dramas.

She successfully auditioned for NIDA in 2012, and had also worked in the production department at Channel Seven and for Carnival Films. 

NSW Police Chief Inspector Phil Brooks said the holidays were ‘meant to be a time of happiness’ but ‘sadly for many this has resulted in tragedy’.

Police said the crash was caused by one car being on the wrong side of the road, according to the ABC. 

Police visited the family’s home in Ryde, in north-west of Sydney, but after finding no-one there, tracked down extended family members.

The NSW road toll now stands at 21, and police are warning drivers about ‘fatigue and complacency’ while behind the wheel. 

Jessica appeared as Hope Morrison on Home and Away in 2016, and also on Underbelly: Badness and in stage plays. Pictured: Jessica on screen  

Jessica appeared as Hope Morrison on Home and Away in 2016, and also on Underbelly: Badness and in stage plays. Pictured: Jessica on screen  

Pictured: Jessica's character on Home and Away being arrested by fellow actress Pia MIller

Pictured: Jessica’s character on Home and Away being arrested by fellow actress Pia MIller

Jessica Falkholt (right) is pictured filming Home & Away at Palm Beach

Jessica Falkholt (right) is pictured filming Home & Away at Palm Beach

Home & Away filming at Palm Beach with Isabella Giovinazzo, Jackson Heywood, Jessica Falkholt (third from left), Pia Miller, Olivia Deeble, George Mason, Matt Little and Tessa De Josselin

Home & Away filming at Palm Beach with Isabella Giovinazzo, Jackson Heywood, Jessica Falkholt (third from left), Pia Miller, Olivia Deeble, George Mason, Matt Little and Tessa De Josselin

Fellow actress Pia Miller posted this image of Jessica on Thursday

Fellow actress Pia Miller posted this image of Jessica on Thursday

Chief Inspector Brooks said complacency was primarily to blame for the deaths.

A 25-year-old woman hit a tree with her SUV near Taree, and a 23-year-old woman was killed when she fell out of a Jeep and hit a road sign at Peak Hill.

Other holiday road toll victims included a 63-year-old man who died when his car left the road near Port Macquarie while a 42-year-old man was killed when his Ford Falcon hit a parked truck at Emu Plains in western Sydney. 

Jessica (left) remains at Saint George Hospital in a critical condition with family members at her bedside. The NSW state road toll is now at 21, and police are warning drivers about ‘fatigue and complacency’ while behind the wheel

Jessica (left) remains at Saint George Hospital in a critical condition with family members at her bedside. The NSW state road toll is now at 21, and police are warning drivers about ‘fatigue and complacency’ while behind the wheel

NSW Police Chief Inspector Phil Brooks said the holidays were 'meant to be a time of happiness' but 'sadly for many this has resulted in tragedy'

NSW Police Chief Inspector Phil Brooks said the holidays were ‘meant to be a time of happiness’ but ‘sadly for many this has resulted in tragedy’

Chief Inspector Brooks said 11 of the deaths were caused by vehicles turning off the road.

‘More than half of these have involved single vehicle run-offs either into a tree or a telegraph pole – sadly killing that driver and/or their passenger – which is an indicator to us that fatigue is the most likely outcome in these very sad and tragic events this close to Christmas,’ he said.

So far in 2017, 873 people have died on the roads in New South Wales, 12 more than at the same time in 2016.

 Jessica (pictured) and her sister Annabelle were airlifted to hospital in a critical condition

 Jessica (pictured) and her sister Annabelle were airlifted to hospital in a critical condition

In the lead up to New Year’s Day 600 patrol vehicles and 1354 police officers will be on the roads in New South Wales.

Police have given out 13,500 fines for speeding, and almost 19,000 for other traffic offences.

‘Out of 433,000 random breath tests, 739 people are facing the courts in the New Year,’ Chief Inspector Brooks said.

‘Luckily for those drivers, they get to go home to their family but for the 21 lives lost so far, their families will no doubt be feeling the pain and suffering of losing a loved one this close to Christmas.’ 



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