A NORTH Queensland community is rallying around the heartbroken family of a young model left critically injured in a horror crash. Just last month, Dimbulah’s Elyse Miller-Kennedy was representing Queensland in the finals of Miss World Australia, but the 17-year-old is now fighting for her life in hospital after being involved in a head-on collision last Wednesday night.

She was flown to Townsville Hospital from Cairns over the weekend with critical head injuries and her family has travelled to be by her side, The Cairns Post reports.

Ms Miller-Kennedy’s manager Barbara Head, from Blak Model Management, said the family had been inundated with messages of support.

She said community members had stepped in to help run their lime farm at Dimbulah while they were away and a fundraising page had been set up.

“There is a massive amount of community rallying around them,” she said.

“They are blown away by the support.”

The St Stephen’s Catholic College student won the Face of Cairns competition as a 13-year-old in 2012 and was a Miss World Australia finalist.

At the Miss World Australia competition, she spoke about feminism and gender equality.
“Her career has obviously just bloomed,” Ms Head said.

“She was looking at finishing Year 12 and moving interstate for her modelling career.”

She had only received her driver’s licence five weeks before the crash, but police were adamant the collision was not her fault. Cairns Forensic Crash investigator Scott Ezard has been liaising with the family, who have asked for privacy.

“The investigations clearly show Elyse was a completely innocent party in this tragedy,” he said.

“The family wish for people to understand how beautiful she was and is, and have asked for people to show their respect in dealing with this tragedy as they try and nurse her back to health.”

Police have continued to call for witnesses to the head-on collision, which happened about 10km east of Dimbulah on the Mareeba-Dimbulah Rd.

A man and woman from France, who were in the other vehicle, were also hospitalised.