By Dusty Smith
The driver of a Porsche SUV that struck a minivan occupied by several Texas women in Aldie on Friday has been identified as Jacqueline Mars, one of the richest women in America and a co-owner of McLean-based Mars Inc., the world’s largest candy company.
One of the passengers from the minivan died in the wreck, and prosecutors are reviewing the case to determine whether charges should be filed.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Mars, who turns 74 on Thursday, as the SUV driver, according to Leesburg Today and the Washington Post.
“This tragedy has left Jacquie filled with sorrow for the loss of life and those who were injured in the accident,” Kent Jarrell, a spokesman for Jacqueline Mars, said in a statement. “She would like to express her deepest condolences to the families involved.”
The crash occurred Friday around 2:30 p.m. when Mars drove her 2004 Porsche SUV west on Route 50 near Briar Patch Lane. According to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Mars’ vehicle crossed the center line and struck a 2013 Chrysler minivan with six occupants heading east.
Irene C. Ellisor, 86, a passenger in the minivan from Huntsville, Texas, died at the scene. The minivan’s driver was reported in critical condition at Inova Fairfax Hospital this week, according to the sheriff's office, while a front-seat passenger with serious injuries was released.
Two other passengers in the minivan were taken to Stone Springs Medical Center, while another was taken to the Cornwall Campus of Loudoun Inova Hospital. All minivan passengers were adult women, according to the sheriff's office.
Mars was taken to Stone Springs Medical Center and later transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital before being released. She is recuperating at home, according to the email from Jarrell. She lives in The Plains, a small town in Fauquier County.
The case is awaiting review by the Commonwealth's Attorney’s Office.
Mars Inc. is the largest candy company in the world, according to Forbes magazine, with $33 billion in sales. Jacqueline Mars co-owns the company with two brothers, all of whom inherited it in 1999 when their father died, according to Forbes. Their grandfather, Frank Mars, founded the company in his Tacoma, Wash., kitchen.
Jacqueline Mars had a net worth of $20.5 billion as of September, according to Forbes.
She is a trustee of U.S. Equestrian Team and on the board of directors of National Sporting Library and Fine Art Museum, according to Forbes.