BOSTON (CBS) — Two Northeastern University students, one of whom survived the Boston Marathon bombings, were killed in a car crash in Dubai, the school confirmed Monday.
The two students were identified as Victoria McGrath and Priscilla Perez Torres. Northeastern said they were in Dubai on a personal trip, and not while studying abroad. The two, who were roommates, were set to graduate this year.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
“Northeastern University has confirmed that two undergraduate students have been tragically killed in a car accident overseas,” the university said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Victoria McGrath and Priscilla Perez Torres in this extremely difficult time.”
Northeastern confirmed that McGrath, who was 23, survived serious injuries sustained in the Boston Marathon bombing.
In a statement emailed to the school community Monday, Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun called McGrath’s and Torres’s deaths “a heartbreaking loss to their families, friends, and to all of us in the Northeastern family.”
“Victoria was from Weston, Connecticut, and survived severe injuries during the Boston Marathon bombing,” wrote Aoun. “She was devoted to helping others through leadership in student organizations and community service work. Priscilla came to Northeastern from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, and was passionate about travel and working on issues related to nutrition and women’s health. Each were kind, talented young women, with exceptional futures before them.”
One of the men who saved Victoria’s life after the bombings says he feels like he lost a sister.
“She embraced life with a zeal that was an example for all of us,” said Bruce Mendelsohn.
Extraordinary circumstances brought them together nearly three years ago. Mendelsohn says it was the extraordinary person who kept them all in touch.
“I see this girl half in and half out of Sugar Heaven,” Mendelsohn said. “And I see the blood is coming from her calf.”
Mendelsohn tied a tourniquet and called for help. Boston Firefighter James Plourde came running.
Plourde carried McGrath away from Boylston Street after the bombing. In a statement Monday Plourde said his family is “devastated with the loss of our dearest friend.”
“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,” Plourde wrote.READ MORE: Ex-Boston Officer Patrick Rose Stayed On Force Despite Abuse Allegation
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the McGrath and Perez Torres Family’s as they deal with this unimaginable tragedy.”
“If there’s a cosmic plan, this ought not be part of it,” Mendelsohn said.
Mendelsohn had grown to love McGrath like family. In fact, he says the team who worked to save her is his family.
“The randomness of life means that we have to live life every day like it’s our last and I think that’s what she did and I will do that in tribute to her,” Mendelsohn said.
Marathon bombing hero Carlos Arredondo told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that he knew McGrath, and that they had traveled together to France in 2013 with a group of Marathon bombing survivors. He said he saw her last year at the Marine Corps Birthday Celebration at the Boston Convention Center.
“She was loved by everyone in the Boston Marathon survivor group, because she was so sweet,” said Arredondo. “Seeing that this happened to her, I cannot believe it.”
Brothers JP and Paul Norden, who each lost a limb in the Marathon bombing, posted a photo of McGrath.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of 23 year old Victoria McGrath,” the post read. “A young energetic beautiful soul gone too soon.”
Tufts Medical Center Vice President of Public Affairs Brooke Hynes said she spent a lot of time with McGrath as she recovered from her injuries at the hospital. Hynes said McGrath was a very lovely, smart, and engaging young woman.
“She had a great spirit to her, and I think she jumped right in to making a full recovery,” Hynes said. “She continued to touch everyone on follow-up visits…we’re all very heartbroken here.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports