Former Miss America contestant Cara McCollum died today [Monday, February 22], a week after she was critically injured in a car crash on a New Jersey highway where her car spun off the roadway and into some trees.

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According to the Associated Press, she died at Cooper University Hospital and the news was reported by Frank DiMauro, chief operating officer of the TV station where McCollum worked. It was also reported by her family through a Facebook post.

McCollum’s family said she died with her family by her side in an operating room and her organs were donated. Her family posted, “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. In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. We will all miss her now that she’s gone.”


McCollum was alone in her car and wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when her car veered off Route 55 in Pittgrove Township and hit a tree, hen spun again and hit two more trees before ending up in an embankment, according to reports. Police say McCollum appeared to be driving too fast for the then wet road conditions. They don’t believe that drugs or alcohol played any part.