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Boy, 17, and French woman, 25, are charged with drug trafficking at Rainbow Serpent Festival

A 17-year-old boy and a 25-year-old French woman have been charged with trafficking drugs at Victoria’s Rainbow Serpent Festival.

At least 18 people have been arrested for drug offences at the notorious festival near Ballarat in the state’s west since festival goers began arriving on Friday.

The opening days of the festival were marred by the suspected drug overdose of a young man on Friday, who was taken to hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

Meanwhile, reveller Lucy Groen, 19, was killed in a car crash on the way to the festival on Thursday.

A 17-year-old boy and a 25-year-old French woman have been charged with trafficking drugs at Victoria’s Rainbow Serpent Festival (pictured police officer searches a vehicle at the event)

The opening days of the festival were marred by the suspected overdose of a young man on Friday and the death of 19-year-old reveller Lucy Groen - who was killed in a car crash on the way to the festival on Thursday (stock image of festival)

The opening days of the festival were marred by the suspected overdose of a young man on Friday and the death of 19-year-old reveller Lucy Groen – who was killed in a car crash on the way to the festival on Thursday (stock image of festival)

The young French national was charged with drug offences including trafficking and was bailed to appear at Ballarat Magistrates’ Court next week.

The 17-year-old from Balwyn North was charged with drug trafficking offences and bailed to appear at children’s court at a later date, a spokesman for Victoria Police media confirmed. 

Ballarat Local Area Commander Inspector Dan Davison said 11 people were arrested for drug possession and received either cannabis cautions or drug diversions.

‘Those engaging in illicit activity can expect to be charged and evicted from the event,’ he said.

‘We will continue to have a high visible presence that will continue to detect and deter any illegal activity.’

Sniffer dogs have been brought in for the notorious event, who will also be searching people and vehicles during the festival.

19-year-old Lucy Groen (pictured) has been killed in a car crash on the way to the troubled Rainbow Serpent Festival that previously saw an overdose and an accident involving a truck

19-year-old Lucy Groen (pictured) has been killed in a car crash on the way to the troubled Rainbow Serpent Festival that previously saw an overdose and an accident involving a truck

Ballarat Local Area Commander Inspector Dan Davison said 11 people were arrested for drug possession and received either cannabis cautions or drug diversions (stock image of festival)

Ballarat Local Area Commander Inspector Dan Davison said 11 people were arrested for drug possession and received either cannabis cautions or drug diversions (stock image of festival)

Meanwhile, friends paid tribute to Ms Groen – the ‘amazing, caring’ young woman, who died when the car she was travelling in hit a barrier and rolled on its roof.  

Ms Groen, who was studying early childhood education at Victoria University, was a passenger of the car which crashed near Gordon, 70km from the music event. 

‘You shaped my life and who I am as a person and I’ll never be able to fully thank you for that,’ Helena McKay, Ms Groen’s friend, said. 

Ms Groen, who was studying early childhood education at Victoria University, was described as an 'amazing, caring' friend

Ms Groen, who was studying early childhood education at Victoria University, was described as an ‘amazing, caring’ friend

The driver of the car, who was an 18-year-old woman from Aspendale, was taken to the hospital with serious leg injuries, according to the Herald Sun. 

The tragedy comes after the music festival had a rocky opening day, with a man in his 20s having a suspected drug overdose and left fighting for life. 

Police also arrested another person for allegedly trafficking ketamine, MDMA and other illegal drugs at the four-day outdoor music festival. 

Ms Groen was a passenger of the car when it met its fatal accident on Thursday near Gordon, 70 kilometres from the music event (pictured)

Ms Groen was a passenger of the car when it met its fatal accident on Thursday near Gordon, 70 kilometres from the music event (pictured)

Meanwhile, three people were crushed by a festival-owned truck while inside a tent on Thursday. 

The three revellers were at a campsite in Lexton, where the event is taking place, when the truck rolled up to 20 metres onto the campsite and on top of their tent.

While it remains unclear as to how the truck ended up ploughing through the campsite, Ballarat Superintendent Jenny Wilson said it was believed the truck did not have someone at the wheel at the time.   

An investigation is underway and anyone with footage of the campsite crash is urged to come forward.  

The driver of the car, who was an 18-year-old woman from Aspendale, was flown out to the hospital and is being treated for serious leg injuries

The driver of the car, who was an 18-year-old woman from Aspendale, was flown out to the hospital and is being treated for serious leg injuries

The festival taking place in rural Victoria this weekend brands itself as a ‘mutlifaceted weekend of dance, colour and expression’. 

However, Superintendent Wilson said the start to the festival had been disappointing.

‘It has been marred by a number of issues.

‘It’s devastating so many young people have been impacted in the last few days,’ she said. 

She also advised festival-goers to exercise caution when on the road. 

‘Slow down and take care on the roads,’ Superintendent Wilson said. 

‘If you think you are drug or alcohol affected, don’t get in the car’.   

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