COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – One of the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing was killed in a car accident overseas.
The firefighter hailed as Victoria McGrath’s hero is from the Capital Region. He became close friends with her after the 2013 bombing.
A picture of firefighter Jim Plourde carrying an injured McGrath to safety in 2013 became an iconic symbol of the mantra “Boston Strong.” It became the start to their friendship.
The Plourdes became so close with McGrath that they considered her family. Plourde’s mother Janet spoke to NEWS10 ABC by phone after she had just returned to the Capital Region from Boston.
“We never expected that the Boston bombing would’ve produced a friendship so deep and so kind,” she said.
But on Monday, Janet said her family was heartbroken after learning McGrath died in a car crash in Dubai along with a classmate from Northeastern University.
Janet said the 2013 bombing created a bond between her family and McGrath that was both unexpected and unbreakable.
“We saw each other at Christmas,” she said. “We took her out for her birthday in January, and she was at our youngest granddaughter’s baptism. It’s unending the amount of connection that developed because of that one horrific incident of the Boston Marathon bombing.”
NEWS10 saw the connection growing during an interview with Jim Plourde one year after the bombing.
“We’ve become close friends,” he said at the time. “She’s become friends with my wife. She’s been over to see our kids.”
Plourde was hailed as McGrath’s hero, but Janet said it was actually McGrath who saved her son.
“The devastation that he saw that day, it could’ve, it changes your life,” she said. “But instead, it was the family’s relationship, and Jimmy’s relationship with her in particular, changed that. It brought him back into the light.”
The Northeastern University president sent his condolences to the families in a statement:
“Victoria and Priscilla [Perez Torres] were vibrant, beloved members of the community, and their passing leaves a grievous absence in our hearts. This is a heartbreaking loss to their families, friends, and to all of us in the Northeastern family.”
McGrath and Priscilla would have graduated from the university in the spring.