A shining light. Earth angel. A beautiful soul. Kind. Charismatic.
These are just a few words of tribute among the thousands being penned about Queensland model and Miss World finalist Elyse Miller-Kennedy today.
The 17-year-old’s death was announced yesterday by a family friend, eight days after she was critically injured in a horrific collision near her home town of Dimbulah.
“Elyse will always be a shining light in the hearts of Far North Queensland, known for her caring nature, love of her family and incredible natural inner and outer beauty,” read a post by the ‘Prayers for Elyse’ Facebook page, which has so far raised over $50,000 for Elyse’s family.
“We would like everyone to remember Elyses inner beauty, the warmth she showed to all, her humbleness during her journey throughout her larger than life experiences and of course the generous sweet soul and friend she was to so many. [sic]”
The Year 12 student was hospitalised when her car was struck head-on by that of two French tourists, who had reportedly crossed on to the wrong side of Mareeba-Dimbulah Rd on the evening of August 3.
Miller-Kennedy had her driver’s license for just five weeks when the tragedy occurred, however investigating police confirmed to The Cairns Post that she was “completely innocent” in the crash.
Elyse and her partner Connor Barker. via Facebook/Elyse Miller
Considered an inspiration to young women - particularly young Indigenous women - Miller-Kennedy used the platform of this year's Miss World Australia finals to speak about feminism and gender equality, reports The Cairns Post.
“Elyse will always be remembered for her beautiful soul, charismatic charm and kind heart,” wrote Miss World Australia organisers on social media.
“Elyse’s inner beauty truly exemplified her outer. Elyse’s potential was limitless; we had faith Elyse would take the title of Miss World in future years.”
The eventual winner of the 2016 title and friend of Miller-Kennedy, Madeleine Crowe, said she is struggling to deal with the tragedy.
“You would never imagine she was only 17-years-old – she was so mature, so fun, so happy and full of life,” she told The Courier Mail.
“She was a beautiful, amazing girl both inside and out and she could have been or done anything she wanted to. I know she had so much she wanted to achieve – she wanted to study law and enter pageantry again – to be 17 and have your life taken away from you, I don’t think there is anything worse.”
Police are still appealing for witnesses of the crash to come forward.