February 22, 2016 / 5:53 PM / 3 years ago

Former Miss New Jersey dies a week after car crash

Miss America 2014 contestant, Miss New Jersey Cara McCollum stands on stage during the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former Miss New Jersey pageant winner who worked as a television news anchor has died from injuries sustained in a car crash a week ago, her family said in a Facebook post on Monday.

Cara McCollum, 24, won the 2013 Miss New Jersey pageant and competed in the Miss America contest, according to the website of the Miss New Jersey Education Foundation, part of the Miss America organization. She was a literacy advocate.

SNJ Today, a southern New Jersey news station where McCollum worked as lead anchor, said she was a Princeton University graduate and a “beloved individual.”

She was a native of Forrest City, Arkansas, according to her Facebook page.

McCollum was driving a 2014 Ford Mustang convertible on Feb. 15 when the vehicle spun off a New Jersey highway and hit trees before landing at an embankment, according to NJ.com. She was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

Reporting by Marcus E. Howard; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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