A young student whose survival of the Boston Marathon bombings inspired many has been killed in a car crash in Dubai.

Victoria McGrath, 23, died in a crash that also claimed the life of her university room-mate Priscilla Perez Torres.

McGrath had been 20 when she was struck by the first bomb at the finish line of 2013's Boston Marathon.

Victoria McGrath appeared with the emergency workers who rescued her at a benefit concert to help survivors and their families in 2013. Credit: Reuters

The image of her being carried to safety by a Boston firefighter was seen around the world in the aftermath of the April 15 atrocity.

Two simultaneous explosions ripped through the crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15 2013. Credit: Reuters/Dan Lampariello

McGrath had been standing five feet away from the first bomb explosion and suffered nerve damage to her left leg from an inch-long piece of shrapnel.

Firefighter Jimmy Plourde led tributes to the business student after her death was announced.

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.

Jimmy Plourde

McGrath's mother Jill told NBC News the family was "stunned, shocked and heartbroken" at her death while on holiday in Dubai.

Boston's Northeastern University confirmed the death of McGrath's room-mate Perez Torres, who was studying science.

Victoria and Priscilla were vibrant, beloved members of our community, and their passing leaves a grievous absence in our community and in our hearts.

Northeastern University

Brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev carried out the 2013 bombing, which killed three and injured 264 people.

Older brother Tamerlan died in a shootout with police while Dzhokhar was convicted at trial and sentenced to death.