By Todd Richissin
Jacqueline Badger Mars, one of the richest people in the world and co-owner of the Hackettstown-based Mars candy company, has been charged with reckless driving following a fatal car crash in Virginia earlier this month, according to news reports.
Mars, 74, faces a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving, according to the Washington Post, which cites the Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office.
Police have said Mars was driving a Porsche SUV that struck a minivan occupied by several Texas women on Oct. 4 in Aldie.
One of the passengers in the minivan died, and prosecutors have been reviewing the case to determine whether charges should be filed.
Mars has been ranked as one of the world’s richest people and is a resident of The Plains, Va. She acquired her wealth as heiress to Mars Inc., makers of Milky Way, M&Ms, Twix, Skittles, Snickers and the Mars bar.
The Loudoun County's Sheriff Office said at the time that her SUV, heading west on Route 50, crossed the center line and struck the minivan, which was traveling east.
Irene C. Ellisor, 86, of Huntsville, Texas, died at the scene. Others in the minivan were seriously injured. The group was reportedly in Virginia for a family wedding.
“As court proceedings begin, Jackie’s thoughts and prayers remain with those who have suffered injury and loss,” Kent Jarrell, a spokesman for Mars, told the Post this week. “She regrets this tragic accident.”
Mars was served Tuesday with a summons and is expected to appear in Loudoun County General District Court at a hearing scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 5, according to the Post.