The man involved in a deadly Boxing Day crash, that killed two parents and left their two daughters fighting for life, was allegedly a serial traffic offender and known drug user.
Former Home and Away actress Jessica Falkholt and her sister Annabelle were critically injured in the crash on the NSW South Coast and are now clinging to life in two Sydney hospitals.
Witnesses pulled the girls from the wreckage as the vehicles were engulfed in flames but their parents, Lars Falkholt, 69, and mother Vivian Falkholt, 60, died at the scene.
The man behind the wheel of the other car, Craig Anthony Whitall, 50, was killed when the vehicle crossed into the path of oncoming traffic on the Princes Highway, near Sussex Inlet, colliding with the family's car head-on.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Mr Whitall had previously been jailed for driving while disqualified and was on a provisional licence at the time of the incident.
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Fairfax Media reports Whitall was driving home after visiting a methadone clinic in Nowra, an hour's drive.
Methadone is an opioid prescribed to heroin addicts to assist with withdrawal. It is not illegal for users to drive with the drug in their system, althoughFairfax reports police can charge motorists if it is proven someone's driving ability is impaired by the influence of any substance.
As part of a coronial investigation, a toxicology report will now try and determine whether any drugs were in Mr Whitall's system at the time of the crash.
Witnesses reportedly say they saw his white Toyota Prado drifting onto the opposite side of the highway at least twice moments before it smashed into the Falkholt family’s Mazda.
The family of the father-of-two and grandfather said they were shattered for the Falkholt family.
“Our hearts are broken not only for our loss but also for the loss the Falkholt family are feeling," Mr Whitall's family said in a statement.
The Seven Network said the Home and Away family are sending their love and support to the actress and her sister.
"Although her time on set was brief, once a part of the Home and Away family, always part of the family," a spokesman said.
The road toll in NSW is currently at 21 for the Christmas period.
Police angered by heavy Christmas road toll
Both NSW and Victorian police say regional areas of each state have been over-represented in road deaths this year.
In NSW, 285 people have died on regional roads this year compared with 103 in metropolitan areas.
"The community has had enough and so have we," Highway Patrol Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said on Thursday.
"Throughout this operation and into the new year, we will continue to target these high-risk drivers, to get them off our roads for good."
Meanwhile, Labor transport spokesman Anthony Albanese says the federal government must look into why, after years of decline, the nation's road toll has increased in recent years.
He has called for a strategy to combat the rising toll.
The government said it would work to identify if policies, policing or road conditions contributed to variances in states.