Police rule lobbyist's death in garage fire was an accident

D.C. police have ruled the January death of Ashley Turton, a congressional aide-turned-lobbyist, an accident.

The investigation concluded that Turton, 37, lost consciousness behind the wheel of her BMW sport utility vehicle.

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The vehicle then collided with a work bench inside her garage and resulted in a fire igniting in the engine compartment, according to Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump.

“That fire then resulted in a large portion of the garage catching on fire, which subsequently engulfed the vehicle with Mrs. Turton still inside in an unconscious state,” according to Crump.

Investigators concluded that Turton's death was the result of smoke inhalation and burns, Crump added.

Though ruled an accident, acute alcohol intoxication was also a contributing factor in Turton’s death. An autopsy report released last month found Turton was intoxicated when she died.

Turton worked as a lobbyist for Progress Energy, a North Carolina-based utility company. She was a former senior aide to Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and also worked for former Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.). Her husband, Dan Turton, works in the congressional liaison office of the White House.

The incident occurred in the early hours of the morning of Jan. 10 at the Turtons' Capitol Hill home.