New twist after aspiring model's tragic death in footpath crash

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·3-min read

A second person has been charged following a crash that killed an aspiring model and seriously injured two other people.

Emergency crews were called to Flinders Street in Wollongong, south of Sydney, on Saturday about 10.30pm after a Toyota Camry mounted the kerb and struck four pedestrians.

Aspiring model and influencer Libby Ruge, 19, died after sustaining critical injuries.

An 18-year-old woman is being treated for a fractured pelvis, a 21-year-old man is being treated for leg and rib fractures and a 20-year-old male managed to avoid injury.

The car’s passenger, a 21-year-old man, allegedly pulled the handbrake before the crash. He was charged on Sunday and is currently before the courts.

19-year-old Libby Ruge in selfie taken before she was killed.
Libby Ruge, 19, was killed after a car mounted the footpath and struck her. Source: Facebook

The 18-year-old driver was discharged from hospital after being treated for minor injuries, and taken to the police station where he faced a host of charges including dangerous driving occasioning death.

Overnight he was charged with driving in a dangerous manner, negligent driving occasioning death, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, causing bodily harm by misconduct and being in charge of motor vehicle that failed to stop and assist after its impact caused death.

He was refused bail to appear at Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday.

Tributes pour in for teen who ‘lit up every room’

Ms Ruge’s devastated family and friends have shared heartbreaking tributes to the young woman, who had just landed her dream job.

“Anyone who knew Libby knew how amazing she was. She lit up every room and put every person before herself,” her friend Lili Ford wrote to the GoFundMe page she organised for the family.

Libby Ruge shown in selfie taken before her death Saturday evening.
The teenager had just landed her dream job when she was fatally struck. Source: Facebook

“Libby had just got her dream job and was surrounded by her loving boyfriend of three years, Luke, as well as her beautiful parents and friends who would do absolutely anything for her, the same she would have for them.”

Her older sister Stevie described her as “the light of our family” and said she was “blown away” by the community’s generosity support following the tragedy.

“She would be lapping up all the attention. Thank you everyone for all the love and support. Baby girl is the light of our family... and clearly is loved by so many,” Stevie wrote to Facebook.

“Look at how many people’s lives you touched Lib. So so proud of you baby sis.”

More than $25,000 has been raised to cover funeral expenses and to help with income that would undoubtedly be lost by the family as they take time to grieve.

Cop shared ‘confronting’ scenes after crash

Illawarra Ambulance Acting Superintendent Oliver Aleman described the scene of the crash “heartbreaking and confronting”.

“The pedestrians were propelled several metres away from the car when they were hit. The [deceased] patient was unconscious,” he said.

“[She wasn’t] crying in pain or suffering, we tried to resuscitate her on scene, but she had suffered critical head injuries.”

Chief Inspector Geoffrey Olsen from Wollongong Police District said it was “a tragic event”.

“It's a tragic event. From what I understand, they'd been out socialising,” he told reporters.

“They all live in the Illawarra area and were simply walking home or to another venue.”

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