How a sliding doors moment saw Wollongong teenager Libby Ruge mowed down by a car

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Libby Ruge, 19, died on Flinders Street in Wollongong on November 7

The mother of an aspiring model who was run over by a car while walking outside a club with two friends and the love of her life has revealed how a few heartbreaking decisions led to her teenage daughter’s death.

Libby Ruge died on Flinders Street in Wollongong, south of Sydney, at 10.30pm on November 7 when a Toyota Camry allegedly mounted the kerb and ploughed into the group, injuring her two friends Tye West and Eva Harrison.

Her boyfriend Luke Day, 20, was unscathed and knew he had to call his girlfriend’s mothers, Julie and Jules, to say the life was draining from the 19-year-old’s broken body before she tragically passed on the scene. 

In an emotional interview with Daily Mail Australia, Julie, 57, opened up about the final conversation she had with her ‘quirky, funny’ daughter just hours before her death, during which Libby offered not to go out that night.

‘I had a nose bleed the night before, and I don’t have nosebleeds,’ the mother-of-three said. ‘I was in the shower and looked at my hands and they were covered in blood.’

Her boyfriend Luke Day (pictured together), 20, was unscathed and knew he had to call his girlfriend's mothers, Julie and Jules, to say the life was draining from the 19-year-old's body

Her boyfriend Luke Day (pictured together), 20, was unscathed and knew he had to call his girlfriend's mothers, Julie and Jules, to say the life was draining from the 19-year-old's body

Her boyfriend Luke Day (pictured together), 20, was unscathed and knew he had to call his girlfriend’s mothers, Julie and Jules, to say the life was draining from the 19-year-old’s body

Pictured: Libby Ruge with her mothers Julie (left) and Jules (right) at her high school graduation

Pictured: Libby Ruge with her mothers Julie (left) and Jules (right) at her high school graduation

Pictured: Libby Ruge with her mothers Julie (left) and Jules (right) at her high school graduation

When Libby, who had been playing with her three young nephews and a giant teddy bear Luke gave her, heard about the nosebleed she rushed to her mother’s side.

‘She grabbed my face with both her hands and said, “are you okay, Mummy? Do I need to worry about you?”,’ Julie said.

While her mother brushed it off as a ‘silly nosebleed’, the teenager was concerned.  

‘She held my face and asked if I wanted her to stay home that night, and I said no.’ 

Julie broke down when she explained that she would never have asked her daughter to stay home, but that in a cruel twist of fate, had she done so, Libby would be alive.

In a second eerie moment that almost spared Libby from her untimely death, she had also considered skipping a nightclub queue with friends, meaning she wouldn’t have been on the street at the time of the crash.

When Libby, who had been playing with her three young nephews and a giant teddy bear Luke gave her (pictured), heard about the nosebleed she rushed to her mother's side and suggested not even going out on the fateful night so she could stay home and care for her

When Libby, who had been playing with her three young nephews and a giant teddy bear Luke gave her (pictured), heard about the nosebleed she rushed to her mother's side and suggested not even going out on the fateful night so she could stay home and care for her

When Libby, who had been playing with her three young nephews and a giant teddy bear Luke gave her (pictured), heard about the nosebleed she rushed to her mother’s side and suggested not even going out on the fateful night so she could stay home and care for her

When someone suggested they jump the queue to get into the venue faster, Libby said no - she wanted to do the right thing - which ultimately led to her walking down the street when she was hit by a car (pictured, Libby with her best friend Lili Ford)

When someone suggested they jump the queue to get into the venue faster, Libby said no - she wanted to do the right thing - which ultimately led to her walking down the street when she was hit by a car (pictured, Libby with her best friend Lili Ford)

When someone suggested they jump the queue to get into the venue faster, Libby said no – she wanted to do the right thing – which ultimately led to her walking down the street when she was hit by a car (pictured, Libby with her best friend Lili Ford)

‘She had been messaging me all night, because she always did that – she always told me everything,’ Julie said.

‘So I know they couldn’t even get in to the club that night because there were large queues due to covid.’ 

When someone suggested they jump the queue to get into the venue faster, Libby said no – she wanted to do the right thing.

Had they skipped the line, the group-of-four would have avoided being mowed down and the teen would still be alive.

When Luke called Julie and her partner Jules to say Libby had head injuries, they immediately got in the car, picked up his parents and drove to the scene (pictured, Libby and Luke)

When Luke called Julie and her partner Jules to say Libby had head injuries, they immediately got in the car, picked up his parents and drove to the scene (pictured, Libby and Luke)

When Luke called Julie and her partner Jules to say Libby had head injuries, they immediately got in the car, picked up his parents and drove to the scene (pictured, Libby and Luke)

Police initially told the family they were preparing to fly the teenager to hospital in a helicopter, but decided to take her to Woollongong Hospital moments later (pictured, a tribute to Libby)

Police initially told the family they were preparing to fly the teenager to hospital in a helicopter, but decided to take her to Woollongong Hospital moments later (pictured, a tribute to Libby)

Police initially told the family they were preparing to fly the teenager to hospital in a helicopter, but decided to take her to Woollongong Hospital moments later (pictured, a tribute to Libby)

The families were told Libby died when they got to the hospital (pictured, Libby with her mothers, Julie, left, and Jules, right)

The families were told Libby died when they got to the hospital (pictured, Libby with her mothers, Julie, left, and Jules, right)

The families were told Libby died when they got to the hospital (pictured, Libby with her mothers, Julie, left, and Jules, right)

When Luke called Julie and her partner Jules to say Libby had head injuries, they immediately got in the car, picked up his parents and drove to the scene.

Police initially told the family they were preparing to fly the teenager to hospital in a helicopter, but decided to take her to Woollongong Hospital moments later.

‘They said there were signs of life, but she wasn’t going to make it,’ Julie said.

‘I asked police to tell her we were there, and then in my head I heard her voice so loudly “I have to go now Mummy, I have to go”.’ 

The families were told Libby died when they got to the hospital.

More than four weeks' later, Julie said she is still in shock and that it doesn't feel real - as though she is waiting for Libby to come home (pictured, Lili Ford, left, Libby, centre, and another friend)

More than four weeks' later, Julie said she is still in shock and that it doesn't feel real - as though she is waiting for Libby to come home (pictured, Lili Ford, left, Libby, centre, and another friend)

More than four weeks’ later, Julie said she is still in shock and that it doesn’t feel real – as though she is waiting for Libby to come home (pictured, Lili Ford, left, Libby, centre, and another friend)

Pictured: Libby Ruge with her mothers Julie (centre) and Jules (left) at her HSC art exhibition

Pictured: Libby Ruge with her mothers Julie (centre) and Jules (left) at her HSC art exhibition

Pictured: Libby Ruge with her mothers Julie (centre) and Jules (left) at her HSC art exhibition

More than four weeks’ later, Julie said she is still in shock and that it doesn’t feel real – as though she is waiting for Libby to come home.

‘I don’t get out of bed,’ she said.

‘Someone pulls me out. I wake up and I cry and I have pains in my chest. Then I put one foot on the floor and I breath.’

Due to covid restrictions only allowing 100 people at a time to attend a funeral service, Libby’s family held three wakes to ensure everyone the teenager touched had the opportunity to say goodbye.

Libby, who was working on her modelling career but also dreamed of becoming a dentist, and Luke had planned on getting married one day and buying a big block of land.

Libby (pictured centre with Lili, right, and another friend, left) was working on her modelling career but also dreamed of becoming a dentist

Libby (pictured centre with Lili, right, and another friend, left) was working on her modelling career but also dreamed of becoming a dentist

Libby (pictured centre with Lili, right, and another friend, left) was working on her modelling career but also dreamed of becoming a dentist

Libby's cousin Dee McBeath told Daily Mail Australia she was laid to rest in a casket spray-painted as a black Cadillac. Pictured: Libby (left) with a group of friends

Libby's cousin Dee McBeath told Daily Mail Australia she was laid to rest in a casket spray-painted as a black Cadillac. Pictured: Libby (left) with a group of friends

Libby’s cousin Dee McBeath told Daily Mail Australia she was laid to rest in a casket spray-painted as a black Cadillac. Pictured: Libby (left) with a group of friends

To make up for the big wedding her daughter would never have, Julie asked guests to dress up in bright colours – ‘let’s just make this beautiful for her,’ she said.  

‘It was her last time to shine.’

Libby’s cousin Dee McBeath told Daily Mail Australia she was laid to rest in a casket spray-painted as a black Cadillac. 

‘The florist told us we’d need about 60 sunflowers. We ordered 200. We were told we could only have 100 people at the service venue, so we had three venues,’ she said.

‘It was hell trying to organise that many people, but we did it, because that’s what Lib deserved.’

Lili Ford, one of Libby’s best friends, organised dried flowers and the family released hundreds of live butterflies after the service.

They explained that butterflies were symbolic to the 19-year-old because she had a butterfly-shaped birthmark on her head.

When hundreds of butterflies were released after the funeral service, Dee said they landed on 'such specific people' (pictured, Luke with a butterfly at his girlfriend's funeral)

When hundreds of butterflies were released after the funeral service, Dee said they landed on 'such specific people' (pictured, Luke with a butterfly at his girlfriend's funeral)

When hundreds of butterflies were released after the funeral service, Dee said they landed on ‘such specific people’ (pictured, Luke with a butterfly at his girlfriend’s funeral)

Libby's older sister (pictured) with a butterfly on her arm at Libby's funeral in November

Libby's older sister (pictured) with a butterfly on her arm at Libby's funeral in November

Libby’s older sister (pictured) with a butterfly on her arm at Libby’s funeral in November

Pictured: A butterfly in Julie's hair

Pictured: A butterfly in Julie's hair

Pictured: A butterfly that landed on Libby's portrait at her funeral

Pictured: A butterfly that landed on Libby's portrait at her funeral

The family explained that butterflies were symbolic to the 19-year-old because she had a butterfly-shaped birthmark on her head (pictured, a butterfly that landed in Julie’s hair and on a portrait of Libby at the funeral)

Months earlier, she had wanted to get a butterfly that reminded her of her late grandmother tattooed on her arm.

A little shocked, her mother suggested she get the insect inked on her side where it wasn’t so visible.

‘She called the people at Bondi Ink, who are usually booked a year in advance, and they had a cancellation so she went and got three tattoos that day,’ Julie said.

After Libby died, Julie and Jules called the tattoo parlour, explained that Libby died and asked if they squeeze in another booking.

‘The parlour dropped everything to fit us in,’ the mother explained.

‘I got the tattoo where Libby originally wanted it on her arm, and Jules got it on her bicep – I never would have done that before.’

Pictured: Libby (centre) with her sister's family, including her younger nephews who she played with hours before she died

Pictured: Libby (centre) with her sister's family, including her younger nephews who she played with hours before she died

Pictured: Libby (centre) with her sister’s family, including her younger nephews who she played with hours before she died

Dee also said Luke 'loved Lib with all his heart and soul'. Pictured: Libby with her older sister at her high school graduation.

Dee also said Luke 'loved Lib with all his heart and soul'. Pictured: Libby with her older sister at her high school graduation.

Dee also said Luke ‘loved Lib with all his heart and soul’. Pictured: Libby with her older sister at her high school graduation. 

When the insects were released after the funeral service, Dee said they landed on ‘such specific people’. 

‘One landed in her mother’s hair and just wouldn’t leave, one landed on Luke, and on a photo of Libby,’ she said.

While Libby’s many best friends have been reaching out to Julie for comfort, the mother has taken solace knowing her daughter’s last months alive were the happiest of her life. 

‘She went to Byron Bay, she was going to start her bachelor of oral health after taking a gap year, and she had so many different jobs – she was always coming home saying she had a new job because she loved keeping busy.’

‘I used to wonder why, but now I know it was so she could touch all these lives before she went.’

Dee also said Luke ‘loved Lib with all his heart and soul’.

Lili Ford (pictured right, with Libby) said her best friend was 'unlike anyone else I've ever met' and 'the most selfless person in the world'

Lili Ford (pictured right, with Libby) said her best friend was 'unlike anyone else I've ever met' and 'the most selfless person in the world'

Lili Ford (pictured right, with Libby) said her best friend was ‘unlike anyone else I’ve ever met’ and ‘the most selfless person in the world’

‘He was so strong throughout that last night,’ she said.

‘When she was injured, the first thing he did was call the Julies and tell them to come quickly. He’s strong and holds it together. But then he cries too.

‘He isn’t afraid to let the world see that his heart is broken. He isn’t afraid to let the world see he lost the love he was going to build a life with. He isn’t afraid to reach out and tell people what he’s feeling.’

Lili Ford said her best friend was ‘unlike anyone else I’ve ever met’ and ‘the most selfless person in the world’.

‘She put everyone before herself and would move mountains for the people she cared about.’

The professional model said she would write Libby’s number on her hand in case she ‘got into trouble’ on a night out.

‘I wish I could have done the same for her that night.’

Julie and Jules work as disability carer and osteopath respectively, but have had to take time off due to crippling grief (pictured, Libby)

Julie and Jules work as disability carer and osteopath respectively, but have had to take time off due to crippling grief (pictured, Libby)

Julie and Jules work as disability carer and osteopath respectively, but have had to take time off due to crippling grief (pictured, Libby)

Lili heard the devastating news at 3am on November 8 and said ‘the words will never leave my mind’.

‘Part of me thinks she’s still coming back.’ 

Julie and Jules work as disability carer and osteopath respectively, but have had to take time off due to crippling grief.

To help cover for food, electricity and living expenses, the family have set up a Go Fund Me page and have raised more than $45,000.

The alleged driver of the car, Jaskaran Singh, 18, was charged with several offences related to dangerous and negligent driving.

He appeared in court on Monday where he was granted bail after spending six days in remand.

His passenger, Arpan Sharma, 21, was also charged with several dangerous driving offences after allegedly pulling up the handbrake which caused the crash.

He is yet to enter a plea but was granted bail. 

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