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Wife of Obama aide found dead in D.C. fire

A neighbor looks at a garage in Washington that burned, police said, when energy lobbyist Ashley Turton’s car crashed in it. A neighbor looks at a garage in Washington that burned, police said, when energy lobbyist Ashley Turton’s car crashed in it. (Jacquelyn Martin/ Associated Press)
Bloomberg News / January 11, 2011

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WASHINGTON — An energy lobbyist, the wife of an aide to President Obama, died yesterday in a fiery car crash in the garage of her Washington home.

Ashley Turton was found by firefighters in the driver’s seat of a BMW X-5 after they were called to extinguish a blaze at about 4:45 a.m. A police statement said the vehicle crashed in the interior of the garage, igniting a fire that engulfed the car and the garage.

Although the police statement did not name the victim, Progress Energy and congressional officials identified her as Turton. Her husband is Dan Turton, a former congressional staffer and lobbyist who is the White House deputy director for legislative affairs for the House of Representatives.

Ashley Turton has worked for Progress Energy since 2007, the company said in a statement.

She previously was chief of staff for US Representative Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat.

The Washington Police Department’s major crash investigations unit is probing the accident.

Progress Energy agreed yesterday to be bought by Duke Energy Corp. for $13.7 billion in stock, creating the largest US utility.