Cara McCollum ’15, Miss New Jersey 2013, is in critical condition at Cooper Health System after a car crash Monday night, according to The Press of Atlantic City.
The Cooper Health System declined to comment, per the McCollum family’s wishes.
McCollum was traveling north on Route 55 when her car spun off the road and hit a tree at mile marker 38.4 before hitting two other trees and coming to a stop on the embankment,according to NJ.com.
Her airbag deployed in the crash, and she was not wearing a seatbelt,a report from New Jersey State Police reportsaid.
McCollum was transported to Cooper Health Systems from the scene of the accident.
In the report, police noted that speed and wet roads were factors in the accident. The report also explained that the driver's side airbag had deployed in the crash.
According to The Press of Atlantic City, no summonses for the accident have yet been issued, but the accident is still under investigation.
University professor John McPhee ’53, who had McCollum as a student in a sophomore writing class in 2012, said he was stricken by the news.
McPhee noted he admired her public service and commitment to her campaign and eventual crowning as Miss New Jersey.
"She’s full of imaginative ideas, to say the least — one of which was turning a girl from a town in Arkansas, that is, herself, into Miss New Jersey," he said.
He also noted her steadfast commitment to public service and her responsibilities as Miss New Jersey, and explained that she even took a year off from the University to dedicate her efforts to her campaign.
"She is an excellent writer, and more than that, she is a person with a generous spirit and a terrific person to know," McPhee added.
McCollum won the Miss New Jersey pageant in 2013. She was also a competitor in the 2014 Miss America Pageant. Currently, she is an anchor on SNJ Today, a news broadcast serving the South Jersey area.
SNJ Today issued a statement on Tuesday saying, "Cara is a beloved member of our SNJ Today family. She and her family are in our thoughts and prayers."
According to thePrinceton Alumni Weekly, McCollum was the first University student crowned Miss New Jersey since 1999.
McCollum is originally from Arkansas. She graduated from the University with an A.B. in English. While at the University, she was a member of Kappa Alpha Thetha and the Cottage Club.