White House Advisor's Wife Killed in D.C. Car Fire
Police are still on the scene investigating. (WTOP Photo/Mark Segraves)
January 10, 2011
WASHINGTON — Police and fire officials are still investigating an accident in Southeast Monday morning that left a car engulfed in flames, killing a Washington lobbyist, mother and wife of a senior White House advisor.
Ashley Westbrook Turton, director of congressional affairs for Progress Energy, Inc. and mother of three young children, died around 5 a.m. Monday morning outside her home in the 800 block of A Street, SE. She was married to Daniel Turton, the White House deputy director of legislative affairs for the U.S. House since 2009.
It is still unclear exactly how the car caught fire.
A White House spokesperson is referring calls about the incident to D.C. fire investigators.
“She was a wonderful, wonderful person,” says one neighbor who knows the Turtons well, and asked not to be identified. “She will be missed.”
The neighbor confirmed the Turtons have three children, all less than five years old.
“The car was mostly in the garage. Most of the fire was contained to the garage area,” says Pete Piringer, D.C. Fire and EMS spokesperson.
The fire department was first called for a fire in the garage, and then for a car on fire.
A source familiar with the investigation tells WTOP the accident was likely a slow-speed collision. There were no skid marks.
It is still unclear exactly how the car caught fire, but another neighbor says the car caught fire while backing out of the driveway behind the house.
Other neighbors say she was leaving for an early flight.
Other people were in the home at the time, the source says. Given the configuration of the house and garage, it is conceivable they were not aware of the incident.
WTOP’s Mark Segraves, Neal Augenstein and Paul D. Shinkman contributed to this report.
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