Police: Jacqueline Mars, candy firm co-owner, was driver in fatal wreck

Posted at 9:22 PM, Oct 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-09 21:22:01-04

(CNN) — Jacqueline Mars, a co-owner of the candy empire of the same name, was involved in a car crash Friday near her home in Northern Virginia that killed an 86-year-old woman.

Mars was driving alone in her 2004 Porsche SUV when “for unknown reasons the vehicle crossed the center line and struck an eastbound 2013 Chrysler minivan occupied by six people,” according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

One of those six people, Irene Ellisor of Huntsville, Texas, died at the scene.

Authorities say she was not wearing her seat belt.

Mars, 73, was hospitalized for her injuries and is now recuperating at home, according to her personal spokesman.

“This tragedy has left Jacquie filled with sorrow for the loss of life and those who were injured in the accident,” said Kent Jarrell, who is not affiliated with Mars, Inc. “She would like to express her deepest condolences to the families involved.”

The driver of the minivan was transported to a Falls Church hospital, where she was in listed in critical condition on Monday. Her condition on Wednesday was unknown.

The sheriff’s office says the remaining passengers — all from Texas — were all treated and discharged from area hospitals.

The commonwealth’s attorney’s office is reviewing the matter.

Mars and her two brothers privately own the company started by their grandfather that makes such universal sweet-tooth staples as Snickers, Milky Way, and M&M’s.

Today, Mars Inc. is the largest candy company in the world.

Forbes says Jacqueline Mars has a net worth of $20.5 billion, making her the third richest woman in the country and the 15th wealthiest person in the United States.