As actor Jessica Falkholt continued to fight for her life in Sydney’s St George Hospital this morning, three of the most important people in her life were laid to rest just 14km away.
Parents Lars and Vivian Falkholt and their daughter, Annabelle, were farewelled by hundreds of family members and friends at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Concord, before a private internment.
Photographs taken at the ceremony show mourners clad in black, huddled around three hearses. In each, a coffin adorned with roses and lilies – pink for the 21-year-old, white for her parents.
Today’s funeral comes 15 days after the Falkholts were involved in a horrific collision near the town of Sussex Inlet on the NSW south coast. The Ryde-based family had reportedly been on their way home from a Christmas getaway when their Mazda slammed head-on into a 4WD drive on the Princes Highway.
Lars, 69, and Vivian, 60, were pronounced dead at the scene, while their two daughters were pulled from the wreckage shortly before it erupted into flames.
Annabelle, a digital marketing assistant, was airlifted to Liverpool Hospital with critical injuries. She died there three days later.
Her older sister, who played Hope Morrison on long-running television soap Home and Away, is reportedly in a coma, having undergone multiple surgeries, including the removal of a kidney and a portion of her skull. A hospital spokesperson said the 29-year-old remains in a critical condition.
Speaking to the congregation this morning, Mrs Falkholt’s brother, Paul Ponticello, thanked the brave motorists for risking their own lives in an attempt to save the women.
“(It’s) a day that will be difficult to erase from our memory,” he told the service.
In his emotional eulogy, Mr Ponticello told the service what a safe driver Lars was.
“The irony of this tragedy is that Lars was such a careful driver,” he said.