Judge sentences Mars co-owner to fine, suspended license in fatal northern Va. crash

LEESBURG, Va. – A co-owner of the Mars candy company has pleaded guilty to reckless driving in a fatal crash.

A judge in Loudoun County, Va., on Thursday ordered Jacqueline Mars to pay a $2,500 fine and suspended her license for six months.

The judge could have sentenced Mars to a year in jail on the misdemeanour charge, but the victim’s relatives asked the judge not to incarcerate her. They say they have forgiven Mars.

Mars apologized for the crash and said she will live with grief for the rest of her life.

Court papers say Mars told a witness she fell asleep just before the October crash. The sheriff’s office says Mars’ Porsche SUV crossed the centre line and hit a minivan carrying 86-year-old Irene Ellisor of Huntsville, Texas, who died at the scene.