The Washington Post

Mars company co-owner charged with reckless driving

Jacqueline Badger Mars, the billionaire co-owner of candy company Mars Inc., will face a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving in connection to a fatal two-car crash that occurred Oct. 4 in Loudoun County, according to the Loudoun County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

Authorities confirmed Tuesday that the Loudoun sheriff’s office had concluded its investigation of the accident, which occurred around 2:30 p.m. on Route 50 near Aldie.

Mars, 74, has been ranked as one of the world’s richest people and is a resident of The Plains, Va.

She was driving a 2004 Porsche SUV at the time of the crash. Her vehicle, heading west on Route 50, crossed the center line and struck an eastbound minivan, according to the Loudoun sheriff’s office.

A back-seat passenger in the minivan, Irene C. Ellisor, 86, of Huntsville Tex., died at the scene. She was not wearing a seat belt, police said. Others in the minivan were seriously injured. The group was in Virginia for a family wedding.

Because of the active case, the Loudoun Commonwealth Attorney’s Office declined to comment further on the outcome of the crash investigation or the decision to charge Mars with reckless driving.

“As court proceedings begin, Jackie’s thoughts and prayers remain with those who have suffered injury and loss,” Kent Jarrell, a personal spokesperson for Mars, told The Post Tuesday. “She regrets this tragic accident.”

He said he could not comment further, citing the pending court case.

Mars was served Tuesday with a summons, and is expected to appear in Loudoun County General District Court at a hearing scheduled Dec. 5 at 8:30 a.m., according to the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

Caitlin Gibson is a feature writer at The Washington Post.

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