Australian Actress Jessica Falkholt Dies at 29 — Weeks After Car Crash Killed Her Family
Australian actress Jessica Falkholt has died weeks after she was involved in a horrific car crash that killed three members of her family. She was 29.
Falkholt passed away on Wednesday Jan. 17 (Australian time), the hospital – where she had been in a coma since the accident – confirmed on behalf of the surviving members of her family.
“On behalf of the family of Jessica Falkholt, St. George Hospital has been asked to advise the media and the community of Jessica’s passing today at 10.20am,” a spokesperson for the hospital said in a statement, obtained by PEOPLE.
“Jessica passed away from serious injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident on 26 December, 2017,” the statement read.
Falkholt, who played Hope Morrison on long-running Australian TV soap opera Home and Away, was involved in a car accident on Dec. 26 — Boxing Day holiday — that claimed the lives of her sister, Annabelle, 21, and parents: father Lars, 69, and Vivian, 61. Lars and Vivian died at the scene of the crash and Annabelle died in the hospital three days later, according to News.Com.Au. The oncoming driver, Craig Anthony Whitall, 51, also died in the wreck.
Following the crash, Falkholt underwent multiple surgeries and reportedly remained in a coma. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that she was taken off of life support the day after her family’s funeral, which was held Jan. 10, and remained in critical condition for almost a week.
“It is just heartbreaking,” Falkholt’s agent Lisa Mann told PEOPLE in a statement. “Beautiful Jess was loved and treasured by her family, friends and colleagues and our sympathies are with everyone today.”
“Jessica always closed her emails to me with the Greek expression, Philoxenia!” her agent Belinda Maxwell said. “It literally means hospitality, but goes beyond that to include the honour a host should bestow on a guest. Philoxenia also encompasses a generosity of spirit, something Jessica had in abundance. Jessica’s death has devastated all those close to her and her family.”
In 2010, Falkholt graduated from the University of New South Wales and later from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 2015. Last year, she completed work on ABC’s Mystery Road — it will be screened this year — and the Nine Network’s Bite Club. She also finished shooting Australian feature film, Harmony.