Actress Erica Hoy has died. The 26-year-old was tragically killed in a five-vehicle car crash on the Port River Expressway in the Australian city of Gillman on Tuesday evening that left three others injured. The woman accused of causing the crash has since been arrested.
Hoy was traveling with her boyfriend Mike Reader, 29, and her twin sister Lisa, on the Port River Expressway in Gillman in northwest Adelaide following an acting class at the time of the incident. The trio were reportedly just five minutes from home when their red Toyota Prius was struck in the back by another vehicle, according to The Advertiser. The collision sent the vehicle carrying the actress and the two others in the way of five other vehicles, including a truck. Hoy died of her injuries at the scene, and three others, including her boyfriend and sister and another driver identified as Klio Bruckner were treated at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
The tragic accident came just seven years after Hoy and her sister moved to Adelaide from Japan in 2015 to study, The Sun reported. Hoy had a passion for acting and previously starred as the lead in her school musical, Alice in Wonderland. She recently appeared on the screens of the Adelaide Film Festival in a web series called The Reality of Humanity in 2021 and also had a leading role in the 2020 mini series Jo-Anne Spirit Guide. Her father, Greg Hoy, remembered his daughter as "bright, happy, positive," telling The Advertiser, "She never gave us anything to worry about. I'm glad she didn't pass away alone." He added that Hoy spent the day doing what she loved most: acting, noting that his daughter "was coming back from an acting course ... when it happened."
The woman accused of causing the fatal car crash has since been arrested. Police alleged that 38-year-old Carlie Eileen Richards' dangerous driving caused Hoy's death. Richards reportedly attempted to flee the scene of the crash following the collision and later refused to give her name or confirm she was behind the wheel. She has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, three charges of causing harm by dangerous driving, leaving the scene of the accident and two counts of driving without due care, as well as failing to answer questions about who was driving, refusing to give her name and address and hindering police. Richards was taken to the hospital following the crash before being taken into police custody. The Advertiser reported that Richards, who was later taken back to the hospital, was subject to a bedside hearing from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide on Wednesday, as she was deemed too mentally unwell to attend court in person. Richards' duty solicitor Tyson Leung asked Magistrate Paul Bennett for Richards o be detained under section 269x of the criminal law act, a form that is typically requested in cases where a defendant's mental competence is in question.