More News:

February 22, 2016

Former Miss New Jersey Cara McCollum dies following last week's crash

The 2014 Miss America contestant was involved in a single-vehicle crash Feb. 15

Accidents Miss America
Former Miss NJ Cara McCollum Trudi Gilfillian/Facebook

Former Press of Atlantic City reporter Trudi Gilfillian, who covered the Miss New Jersey competition in 2013, the year Cara McCollum was crowned, shared this photo of McCollum on Facebook with the following,"Cara McCollum, a kind, funny, very smart soul, passed away this morning. I really didn't think she would. I consider myself fortunate to have been there the year she won Miss New Jersey. None of us know when our time here will end, but she made the very most of her young life."

Former Miss New Jersey and 2014 Miss America contestant Cara McCollum died early Monday morning from injuries sustained in a single-car crash in Pittsgrove Township, New Jersey, on Feb. 15.

McCollum, who died around 4:30 a.m., donated her organs to help save other lives, according to a Facebook page "Prayers for Cara" created for sending prayers and sharing thoughts about McCollum, as well as maintaining updates on the status of her condition, had more than 5,000 members as of Monday morning. The news of her death was announced on the Facebook page.

McCollum, 24, of Margate, an anchor on SNJ Today, was the only person in the car when it veered off the road and struck a tree, then spun again and hit two more trees before ending up in an embankment, police said.

Police said McCollum wasn't wearing a seat belt when the crash took place.

Since the crash nearly a week ago, friends and family, including McCollum's boyfriend and fellow news anchor Keith Jones, as well as social media supporters and her Miss America Organization family, have been praying for her recovery. 

A video of McCollum covering Anna Kendrick's "Cups" song was also shared on the Facebook page Monday. The refrain of the song goes as follows:

When I'm gone, when I'm gone
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone
You're gonna miss me by my hair
You're gonna miss me everywhere, oh
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone


Former Miss New Jersey Outstanding Teen Alyssa Sullivan, who held the state title the same year as McCollum and in the Miss America Organization was termed McCollum's little sister, shared a series of photos and words on the loss on Facebook.

RIP CaraAlyssa Sullivan/Facebook

Cara McCollum, Miss New Jersey 2013, poses with former 2013 Miss New Jersey Outstanding Teen Alyssa Sullivan.