Boston marathon bombing survivor Victoria McGrath sadly lost her life in a freak accident in Dubai. McGrath, a student at Northeastern University, was involved in a fatal car accident in Dubai with a fellow classmate.
According to NBC News, McGrath’s mother sadly confirmed the news in a statement to the outlet.
“We are stunned, shocked and heartbroken.”
Northeastern University also released a statement about the tragic turn of events for McGrath and her fellow classmate, Priscilla Perez Torres.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Victoria McGrath and Priscilla Perez Torres in this extremely difficult time.”
McGrath became an iconic symbol of that tragic day, as a photo of her badly injured and being carried by a Boston firefighter spread across news outlets. She was only five feet away from the first bomb that went off when her leg was injured by the explosion.
In a 2013 interview with the Today Show, Victoria detailed her survivor story. The survivor, who at the time was a teen, explained that she was comforted by a man named Tyler Dodd after her injury. At the time, Dodd claimed to be an injured vet, but that wasn’t true. That said, McGrath, whose leg was severely injured by shrapnel, didn’t seem to mind that her comforter was an ex-oil rig worker instead.
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) March 7, 2016
“He wasn’t a combat soldier in Afghanistan — he wasn’t in combat. I don’t regret it — I don’t regret him telling me that,” said McGrath.
McGrath was interviewed as the two were reunited at the Tufts Medical Center, where Victoria was recovering from her injury. She said that Dodd’s voice calmed her down until a first responder was able to get to her. Dodd told Fox News, “She asked me not to leave her. She was holding my hand. There was some kind of connection on a spiritual level, I would have to say, cause when I told it was going to be okay, she believed me.”
Of Jimmy Plourde, the firefighter that saved her, McGrath said with tears in her eyes, “I’m so thankful.” The two were also reunited for cameras to capture. Additionally, McGrath got to speak with another individual who saved her life, Ben Mendhelson.
So heartbreaking. Northeastern student & Boston bombing victim was killed in a car crash. RIP Victoria McGrath???????? pic.twitter.com/Ir9mqrADyp
— mariah machnik (@mariahmachnik) March 7, 2016
The twin bombs, which were placed near the Boston marathon finish line, killed three people and injured an estimated 260 people. The tragic day happened on April 15, 2013.
A Facebook page dedicated to the Boston marathon survivors posted a note along with a photo to remember Victoria.
“Life can change in an instant… we know this only too well. Those who survived the Boston Marathon bombings of April 15, 2013 all had a special bond… our hearts are heavy tonight after hearing that one of our fellow survivors lost their life in a car accident.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of 23 year old Victoria McGrath. A young energetic beautiful soul gone too soon… God bless you Victoria… until we meet again ~ heart emoticon ~”
— Patricia Resende (@nbc10_patricia) March 7, 2016
Firefighter Plourde said the following of the tragic loss.
“After the Boston Marathon Bombing Victoria become a major part of my life as well as my families. It’s been said that I helped to save her life, but the truth is Victoria saved my life after the marathon as her love, support and friendship helped myself and my family deal with the acts of 4/15/13.”
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the McGrath and Perez Torres Family’s as they deal with this unimaginable tragedy.”
[Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images]