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Former Miss New Jersey Dies One Week After Car Crash


A former Miss New Jersey who was in a serious car accident Feb. 15 has died.

Cara McCollum, who wore the crown in 2013 and competed in the Miss America competition, died early Monday morning.

The tragic passing was announced on a Facebook page called Prayers for Cara that was started by loved ones following the crash.

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"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 post reads.

McCollum was driving in Pittsgrove Township exactly a week before her death when her convertible spun off the road and smashed into a tree, the AP reports.

McCollum struck two more trees before her car came to a halt.

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"We’ve prayed constantly for a miracle, and we believe God has answered our prayers. Although it’s not the miracle that we first envisioned, it’s a miracle nonetheless," the post continued. "In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years."

The 24-year-old Arkansas native won the 2013 Miss New Jersey pageant and went on to compete in 2014's Miss America pageant. 

The 2015 Princeton University graduate was an anchor for the New Jersey TV news show "SNJ Today."

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