Elyse Miller-Kennedy
Elyse Miller-Kennedy Instagram/@elyse1miller

Elyse Miller-Kennedy, a finalist for Miss World Australia, died in hospital on Wednesday after a week-long battle with injuries sustained in a head-on car accident. The 17-year-old died in Townsville Hospital where she had been flown for specialist treatment after spending time at Cairns hospital.

The news was announced by a family friend on a fundraising page for the teenager, who said she died "surrounded by beloved family and friends". The donations have already reached over A$51,000 (£30,000, $38,380).

"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," the announcement said.

Police are currently investigating whether the other vehicle involved in the crash was on the wrong side of the road at the time, but the driver is still in hospital with a serious leg injury and has yet to be formally interviewed. Elyse had only had her licence for five weeks.

Vehicle inspection units will fly to Cairns next week to inspect the cars for any faults, reported news.com.au. Elyse had represented Queensland in the Miss World Australia finals, the competition to select Australia's representative at the Miss World pageant.