Victoria McGrath, a survivor of the horrific Boston Marathon Bombings, died tragically over the weekend. The vibrant young woman who touched the lives of many was killed in a car accident. She was just 23 years old.
Boston.com reports McGrath, a native of Weston, Connecticut, and her good friend and roommate Priscilla Perez Torres, of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico were involved in a fatal car crash in Dubai. According to the Boston Globe, the yellow two-seat Ferrari the women rode in went off the road and crashed into a pole.
Canadian boxer Cody Nixon and a man believed to be Nixon’s cousin also lost their lives in the accident.
Victoria McGrath and her roommate, Priscilla Perez Torres, who was also 23, were both due to graduate from Northeastern University in May. As reported by Coed, McGrath worked as an “intern at Goldman Sachs as a Private Wealth Management Analyst” prior to her death.
University President Joseph Aoun released a statement about the tragedy on Monday.
“Northeastern University has confirmed that two undergraduate students have been tragically killed in a car accident overseas, Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Victoria McGrath and Priscilla Perez Torres in this extremely difficult time.”
Details of the accident remain sketchy, but it is known that the two women were headed to Bali before the car accident.
The news of Victoria McGrath’s death is particularly devastating considering the extraordinary circumstances of her survival on one of the worst days in American history. On April 13, 2013, Victoria was standing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon when two separate bombs exploded. Shrapnel hit her leg, causing very severe damage.
Victoria was rescued by bystander Bruce Mendelsohn and Boston firefighter Jimmy Plourde, a moment in time captured by a now famous photo.
McGrath thanked Mendelsohn for saving her life in a moving speech. ABC News writes that Bruce, a veteran with some training in combat field medicine, created a makeshift tourniquet out of a nearby shirt. Said Victoria, “The doctor told me if you hadn’t done that, then I would have died.”
The men responsible for saving McGrath’s life that day have since responded to the news of her passing. Jimmy Plourde said in a statement, “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.”
Boston Bombing survivors J.P. and Paul Norden also spoke up about the death of Victoria, sharing their feelings in a Facebook post.
“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.
Those who knew Victoria describe her as a compassionate human being with a good sense of humor. She was said to be passionate about life and a “lovely” person. Brooke Hynes, a Tufts University public affairs officer, got to know McGrath in the days following the Boston Bombing. Said Hynes, “Her personality [and] her sparkle were amazing during the whole marathon bombing crisis.”
The Norden brothers wrote of Victoria as a “young, energetic, beautiful soul gone too soon.” Aoun said of the two university students, “Victoria and Priscilla touched many of our lives, and we will miss them terribly.”
It’s clear that Victoria and Priscilla formed a deep bond and friendship over the past few years. On Facebook, you’ll find many images of the two women together. Priscilla was even there for Victoria in the aftermath of the Boston Bombing, even shopping with McGrath while she was still in a wheelchair recovering. That friendship would continue for the rest of their lives.
As upsetting as this loss no doubt is, it’s comforting to know just how many lives these inspiring young women touched around the world.
[Image Via Norden Brothers’ Facebook]