News & Politics

Jacqueline Mars Charged With Reckless Driving in Fatal Crash

Mars reportedly fell asleep at the wheel while driving in Northern Virginia.

Jacqueline Mars, the heiress to the candy fortune that bears her name, will appear in Loudoun County court December 5 to face a reckless driving charge in connection with a fatal car crash earlier this month that occurred after she reportedly fell asleep at the wheel, prosecutors tell Washingtonian.

Mars, 74, was driving her Porsche SUV along Route 50 in Aldie, Virginia, about 2:30 PM on October 6 when she crossed the median and collided into an oncoming minivan, killing 86-year-old Irene Ellisor, who was riding in the van’s back seat. The minivan’s driver, who was eight months pregnant, was also injured and later lost her baby, according to reports. Mars and four other minivan passengers were hospitalized.

A search warrant showed that Mars told a witness she dozed off behind the wheel, NBC4 reported.

Reckless driving in Virginia is punishable by up to six points on a driver’s license, a $2,500 fine, and up to 12 months in jail. Mars, with an estimated net worth of $20.5 billion, is listed as the 15th wealthiest person in the United States.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.