Cara McCollum, Miss America Competitor, Dies at 24

Former Miss New Jersey was critically injured on Feb. 15

Cara McCollum, former Miss New Jersey and Miss America candidate, has died at the age of 24.

A car crash on Feb. 15 left McCollum critically injured, and the pageant champion died early Monday, according to the Facebook page, “Prayers for Cara,” which has been posting updates.

“Cara passed away this morning,” read a post. “Her family was with her in the operating room, and she died peacefully at 4:31am. Before she died, Cara made the selfless decision to donate her organs. At this very moment, she is saving lives.”

The New York Daily News said McCollum lost control of her Ford Mustang along Route 55 in Salem County, New Jersey. She wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and her car struck numerous trees when the car spun out of control on the slick road.

McCollum won the Miss New Jersey pageant in 2013 and participated in the Miss America competition in 2014. Collum also worked as a news anchor for six months at SNJ Today, which covers southern New Jersey.

“Cara showed warmth to everyone she met,” read the statement. “She was a part of our news team family and we are gratified to have worked with her — even for such a short time. We will miss her terribly.”

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