Jacqueline Mars pleaded guilty to reckless driving Thursday in a Loudoun court for the fatal crash along Route 50 in October when her Porsche SUV struck a minivan and killed one of its occupants, according to an AP report published by WTOP.
The judge ordered Mars, a co-owner of the Mars candy company, to pay a $2,500 fine and suspended her license for six months. Mars faced up to a year in jail, but the victims’ families asked she not be incarcerated, according to the AP report.
Mars apologized for the accident in which her SUV crossed the centerline and hit the minivan head on. Irene Ellisor, of Huntsville, TX, died at the scene.
"I know I can't go back in time. I can't change what happened," Mars said, according to NJ.com. "I will always live with the grief and loss caused by this tragedy."
Court papers say Mars told a witness she fell asleep just before the midday crash in Aldie, near Middleburg.
Prosecutors said Mars had a perfect driving record, and blood tests showed that Mars had not been drinking or using drugs. Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman said police also checked her phone records and there was no evidence that she had been texting or engaged in distracted driving.
Candy Heiress Was Driver in Fatal Crash Friday in Loudoun