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The Former Miss New Jersey Has Died After A Car Crash

Cara McCollum, 24, represented the state in the Miss America pageant in 2014.

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A news anchor who formerly served as Miss New Jersey died Monday after suffering injuries in a car crash last week.

Instagram: @caramccollum_tv

Cara McCollum, 24, passed away "peacefully" after donating her organs, according to a message on the "Prayers for Cara" Facebook page.

Instagram: @caramccollum_tv
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Her death was also confirmed by SNJ Today, the news station where she worked as a lead anchor.

McCollum was driving her Mustang on Feb. 15 when her car veered off the road and crashed into a tree, NJ.com reported. She was reportedly not wearing a seatbelt at the time.

Princeton University, where McCollum graduated from in 2015, also tweeted about her death.

RIP, Cara McCollum '15, a former Miss New Jersey who died today a week after an automobile accident. https://t.co/Q14nTXoPm3

McCollum was crowned Miss New Jersey in 2013 while she was a student at Princeton, and represented the state in the Miss America pageant in 2014, according to NJ.com.

Instagram: @caramccollum_tv

She was originally from Arkansas, according to the website.

While serving in her role, McCollum focused on literacy and volunteered with high school students through the Women's Leadership Institute.

instagram.com

Former New Jersey Assemblywoman Carolin Casagrande, who McCollum worked with at the institute, told NJ.com that the beauty queen had contacted her and asked to volunteer.

"I think the world should know she is more than a beautiful Ivy League pageant queen," she said before McCollum's death. "She is an incredible humanitarian that cares about the world."

Many people posted condolences on social media after news of McCollum's death was announced, including Gov. Chris Christie.

Very sad to learn of the passing of Miss NJ 2013 Cara McCollum. Thoughts & prayers to her family, friends & the @MissAmericaOrg community.

McCollum was dating NBC Philadelphia anchor and reporter Keith Jones, who posted a loving tribute to her on Facebook.

Facebook: KeithJonesNBC10

"Her enormous heart enriched my life and changed me forever," he wrote.

SNJ Today said in a statement that McCollum "showed warmth to everyone she met."

"Whether you had the privilege of knowing her or if you enjoyed her newscasts during her all too brief time with us, you know that her smile, determination and sincerity made her a beloved individual," the statement said.

Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at stephanie.mcneal@buzzfeed.com.

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