'Fast and Furious mentality' blamed for teen's crash death

Woman killed in crash after police pursuit on Western Freeway Photos Kate Healy
Woman killed in crash after police pursuit on Western Freeway Photos Kate Healy
Boy arrested in Willow Grove after an fatal on the western Highway
Arrest made in Wendouree following fatal Western Highway crash Ballan
images by Kate Healy /?? The Ballarat Courier

Boy arrested in Willow Grove after an fatal on the western Highway Arrest made in Wendouree following fatal Western Highway crash Ballan images by Kate Healy /?? The Ballarat Courier

Police say a "Fast and Furious mentality" led to Tuesday's collision on the Western Highway which claimed the life of a "beautiful angel" during a high-speed police pursuit.

A 17-year-old boy was allegedlydriving a Toyota Hiace van at more than 100km/h when it hit a parked VicRoads truck about 2.30pm.

The roof of the allegedly stolen van was ripped off "like opening a tin can", police say, killing 16-year-old passenger Jacqueline Vodden.

Jacqueline's devastated mother Naomi posted on Facebook early on Wednesday morning "I just want my baby back".

Her father Scott had posted a warning in March to people who drove his daughter around "when I find them, they wanna watch out".

Police had been pursuing the van, on the Western Highway near the Ballan-Daylesford Road, for about four minutes when the crash occurred.

The driver was wanted over an allegedhome invasion in Ballarat earlier on Tuesday and when police spotted the van they gave chase for four minutes.

Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Doug Fryer told radio station 3AW on Wednesday the scene was "devastating", with wreckage strewn for hundreds of metres.

"The carnage was quite incredible," he said.

Mr Fryer said based on what he had been told, officers had absolute justification to pursue the vehicle and had acted appropriately.

The boy faced an out-of-sessions hearing on Wednesday night, charged with culpable driving, dangerous driving causing death, conduct endangering life, theft of motor vehicle, aggravated burglary and other offences.

He was remanded to appear in a children's court at a later date.

The boy fled the scene after the crash.

He was arrested in the Ballarat suburb of Wendouree West on Tuesday evening

He is in hospital under police guard.

Mr Fryer said Ms Vodden"s family was distraught.

"This didn't need to happen," he said. "We've got a young girl who has lost her life. Her family's devastated."

Ms Vodden's friends echoed Mr Fryer's comments.

"You didn't deserve this, you had so much ahead of you," one wrote on social media.

"I never realised how lost we would be without each other but it's come true and [you're] gone."

Another described her as a "beautiful angel", while a third expressed shock over the police chase and following smash.

"It doesn't feel real, I keep sending you messages just waiting for you to reply, you did not deserve this my heart is breaking," she said.

"I love you so much Jackie.

"Not only were you a friend you were family and you'll forever be loved."

The two VicRoads workers inside the stationary truck at the time were taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

This story 'Fast and Furious mentality' blamed for teen's crash death first appeared on The Age.