Teenage girl killed after taking family car for joy-ride

A 15-YEAR-OLD girl killed in a car crash near Mitchell Park early this morning had taken a family car for a joy-ride.

The girl, a Ballarat High School student, was driving a four-wheel drive south along Dowling Road when it rolled about 1.40am. She was ejected about 15m from the vehicle and was found dead in a paddock when police and ambulance arrived.

A passenger in the car, also a 15-year-old girl, alerted nearby residents to the accident. She sustained cuts and abrasions and suspected arm injuries and was taken to Ballarat Health Services Base Hospital in a stable condition.

Dowling Road, near the intersection of Blind Creek Road, was blocked off this morning.

Highway Patrol units, crime scene investigators and the police air wing have all been on scene to investigate the incident.

Dowling Road is a dirt road and connects the Western Highway and Remembrance Drive at Cardigan.

The fatality takes the road toll to 35 for the year so far, compared to 30 at the same time last year.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au