By Tui Benjamin
A Home and Away star still doesn’t know she is an orphan after she was pulled from a fiery horror smash which killed both her parents.
Actress Jessica Falkholt, 28, and 21-year-old sister Annabelle are both fighting for their lives after the triple-fatal head-on crash in New South Wales, Australia, on Boxing Day.
A family friend today (THURS) revealed the sisters, who are both still in a critical condition in separate hospitals, are yet to regain consciousness and do not know their parents have died.
The woman, a former colleague of Jessica and Annabelle’s mum Vivian Falkholt, 60, who died in the collision, said: “The girls are in separate hospitals and are both still critical.
“They have been put in secure rooms with guards – only a handful of family members are allowed to visit.
“They don’t even know they’ve lost their parents. It’s a tragedy.”
Jessica is an alumni of Australia’s prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) and featured in 16 episodes of Home and Away last year as character Hope Morrison.
Besides the classic Aussie soap, she has also starred in Australian-made supernatural flick Harmony which was set for US release next year and was due to propel her to stardom.
The sisters’ father, Swedish-born Lars Falkholt, was also killed in the crash alongside his Italian wife, a former school office worker.
But local reports suggest it could take weeks for police to formally identify the couple and a third man who died, who was travelling in another vehicle, as their bodies were so badly burned.
On social media, a cousin of the couple praised rescuer Darrin Collier, who was one of the first members of the public on the scene and helped drag Jessica and Annabelle to safety before the vehicle they were travelling in exploded.
The woman wrote: “We’ve been looking for you everywhere! You’ve saved our girls!
“We haven’t stopped speaking or thinking of you!
“My cousins were ones who passed and the girls we are still with in ICU.
“I don’t even know what to say to you, I just can’t believe it.
“You mean so much to our huge Italian family. You’re family now.
“It’s a shattered one and a weird big loud Italian one but you just mean so much to us.”
Darrin added on Facebook: “To say it was horrific is a massive understatement.
“The injuries on the two girls will be something I won’t forget in a long time.
“I was thankful I was able to help out in some way, with other motorists by getting the two girls out of the car before it blew up in flames.”
The accident occurred in the Princes Highway near Ulladulla, New South Wales, on Boxing Day morning.
The three killed were in two separate cars and it is believed the crash was caused because one of the vehicles was on the wrong side of the road.
The family friend, who worked alongside Vivian, known as Viv, for six years as a school volunteer, added: “I am still in shock our Viv is gone.
“I knew her to be hardworking, caring and witty – she was two steps ahead of everything and very organised and diplomatic.
“We all loved her. She was so looking forward to retirement and to experiencing lots of travelling adventures with her family.
“She will be missed, we need to all pray for her daughters to pull through.
“It’s so unfair – our lives are a blessing. Viv and I used to say we’d be around for another 50 years – how ironic she has gone in the traffic way she and her husband did.”
Police said 22 people have been killed on New South Wales’ roads since December 15 – a higher figure than last year.
Lisa Mann, Jessica’s agent, said: “We’re respecting Jess and her family’s privacy at this terrible time.
“All our strength, support and love are with them at this time.”
Peter Drinkwater, producer of Jessica’s upcoming film Harmony, said: “We are still in shock at this terrible tragedy
“All we can say is Jess is such a talented actress and has incredible relatability that audiences love.
“All our thoughts and prayers are with her and Annabelle at this time.”