Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify Bethel’s title was Miss Alabama for America Strong 2021.
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Zoe Sozo Bethel, a beauty queen and political commentator who was crowned Miss Alabama for America Strong 2021, died eight days after suffering injuries in an undisclosed accident in Florida, her family said. She was 27.
“On Friday, February 18, 2022, at approximately 5:30 AM Eastern time in Miami, Florida, our beloved Zoe Sozo Bethel passed from this life into the next as a result of succumbing to her injuries,” her family said in a message posted on her Instagram account. “Zoe touched the hearts of many people and was actively affiliated with several organizations and groups.”
Days earlier, Bethel’s family shared on Instagram that she had been involved in an accident on Feb. 10 and was in a coma, adding that she had suffered “severe damage to her brain/brainstem.”
“Unfortunately the doctors are saying the damage cannot be repaired & that she may not have much time left,” they wrote at the time.
According to The Hill, Miami police say Bethel fell out of the window of a three-story building.
Bethel was the reigning Miss Alabama 2021 for America Strong, and also worked as a political commentator for conservative media network RSBN. She was a brand ambassador for Turning Point USA and Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, according to her family.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our dear friend and reigning Miss Alabama for America Strong, Zoe Bethel,” the pageant said on Facebook. “She was a light in this world, and we are heartbroken over the loss of such a bright and beautiful woman.”
“We are honored to have known Zoe Bethel,” Turning Point USA tweeted. “She has been a pillar in the Conservative movement, always moving with grace and wisdom. She has inspired many, and her legacy will continue to touch the hearts of people everywhere.”