A single moment has, as of today, claimed the lives of an entire NSW family. Home and Away actress Jessica Falkholt, 29, was pronounced dead at 10:20 this morning, the final victim of a Boxing Day car crash that killed her parents, Lars and Vivian, and her 21-year-old sister, Annabelle.
It’s believed the Ryde family were returning from a Christmas holiday, when a white 4WD, driven by Ulladulla man Craig Whitall, collided head-on with their car on the Princes Highway near Sussex Inlet. The youngest survived for two days, her parents never left the scene alive.
That single moment will forever live in the memories of those who witnessed it. The brave motorists who were with Whitall as he passed, who checked the pulses of the two young women, and pulled them from the wreckage before it burst into flames. One, identified as Lisa Elmas, told Fairfax she battled to come to terms with what she saw that day: “I couldn’t breathe. I was hyperventilating, walking round and round in circles… To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.”
That single moment will forever live in the imaginations of the Falkholt’s loved ones. On Friday, Vivian’s brother, Paul Ponticello, was left to eulogise his sister, his brother-in-law and his niece at the trio’s Concord funeral. “Their lives ending on a highway makes absolutely no sense,” he said. “We take little comfort in knowing that they are together and always will be.”
That single moment from which only one obvious good has so far come.