Tributes to ‘angel’ as police issue strong warning

Jacqueline Vodden, age 16, was a passenger in the van that was allegedly being driven by a young man of 17 years of age male at speeds of over 100 km/h when it collided with a parked truck on Tuesday afternoon at Ballan, in Victoria’s west.

The force of the impact ripped off the roof of the van like the opening “a can” and sent debris scattered hundreds of meters along the West Road. The police had been chasing the van in the minutes before the crash.

The 17-year-old, then allegedly stole a car and fled the scene. He was arrested in Ballarat about three hours later.

Victoria Police assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer said there was a “hard core element of young children that this fast and furious mentality that only lives for the moment — and this is an example in that he is still alive and has killed his friend.”

The result was an amazing level of “carnage,” he said.

Jacqueline Vodden friends have left online tributes.

The police wanted to talk to the 17 years through a home invasion that saw a near Ballan, which led to four minutes of searching.

“There seems to be a central element that think they can out run the police and give it a crack and this is an example of that is simply not worth the cost,” Mr. Fryer told Melbourne radio station 3AW.

“His family is devastated”, he added.

Jacqueline’s mother Naomi Vodden posted an emotional tribute to his daughter online, saying: “I want my baby back.”

Friends left their own tributes to Jacqueline, who they remembered as a “beautiful angel”.

“I am a great loss for words … he was taken to soon, God gained another beautiful Angel, we’ve had a fair few memories that we will miss,” a young man, he wrote.

The remains of the van accident. Picture: Channel 9.

“Fly high you beautiful girl … I love you so much,” another friend wrote.

Another referred to the circumstances of the accident. “The saddest part is that he died thinking that he was his friend, who died in loneliness.”

In a similar position, he said: “it made us realize that the price of the life in the street is not worth a life, it’s not worth the pain we are all feeling! Rest in peace beautiful.”

The 17-years of age face one of the sessions hearing on Wednesday night, where he was the defendant guilty of driving, dangerous driving, causing death, conduct endangering life, theft of motor vehicle, aggravated robbery, theft and other crimes.

He has been remanded to appear in juvenile Court at a later date.

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