“I hope you and your brother Tyson look after each other up there,” she said. “RIP Jake”
Another friend, Paigen Danskin, said “I can’t believe this, I will never forget you and our memories.”
“The good die young but a beautiful soul like yours will never be forgotten.”
Emergency services responded but Mr Smith died at the scene.
Police said the man driving the ute, who had two passengers with him, failed to stop at the scene and drove further down the road before pulling over.
The driver and one male passenger were arrested shortly after. They are assisting police with inquiries. The second passenger remains on the run.
Charges have not yet been laid.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday morning, Mr Patton said the homicide squad had joined the investigation due to allegations including the belief that those involved were known to each other.
The exact circumstances of the crash are yet to be determined and the investigation remains ongoing.
Woolpack Road was temporarily closed in both directions near Geelong-Bacchus Marsh Road.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or who may have dashcam footage is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.