Exclusive: Raechelle Banno on 'tragedy' of Jessica Falkholt's death

Rebekah Scanlan

Home and Away's Rachelle Banno has opened up about the devastating "loss" of her co-star Jessica Falkholt, just days after the Summer Bay cast mourned her death.

Jessica, 28, died on Wednesday 17th January following a serious car crash on Boxing Day, that also took the life of her younger sister Annabelle and both their parents.

Talking at the Australian premiere of I, Tonya, the 25-year-old described how the "tragedy" affected the vibe set in an emotional chat with Be.

Raechelle talked candidly with Be about how the tragic death of her co-star has affected the team on set. Source: Getty
Jessica passed away, aged 28, last week. Source: Seven

"Jessica is a part of the Home and Away family so it was a real loss," she said. "It's a tragedy all around."

"When we heard the news it was a hard thing to hear for everyone on set," she added, recalling the gut-wrenching moment they heard Jessica has lost her fight.

Raechelle has played Olivia in the hit soap since 2015. Source: Seven

Stars from the hit Seven soap were pictured at Jessica's funeral on Monday, sobbing as they left St Mary's Catholic Church in Ryde.

Jessica's on-screen sister Olivia Deeble, was overcome by emotion as was former Home and Away actress, Pia Miller.

Hundreds of mourners gathered to farewell Jessica Falkholt on Monday at the same church that her family were laid to rest earlier this month. Source: Getty

Many flocked to social media to express their sadness at the incident, which also claimed the life of the man behind the wheel of the other car, Craig Anthony Whitall, 50.

Despite reeling from the awful loss, Raechelle said Home and Away were trying to stay positive and were looking forward to celebrating the show's 30th anniversary.

"It's such a big year," she said. "It's 30 years and we're looking to start the year off with a bang... We've got so much to come."

Raechelle said the Home and Away cast are looking forward to their 30th anniversary year. Source: Getty

Home and Away returns on Jan 29, on Channel Seven.

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