“Some News About Our White House Family,” Rouse Emails White House Staff About Death of Ashley Turton

Jan 10, 2011 5:42pm

From Jake Tapper  and Sunlen Miller:

In an email to White House employees sent earlier today, acting White House Chief of Staff Pete Rouse mourns the death of Ashley Turton, a former aide to Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) and the wife of White House staff member Dan Turton.

“It is with great sadness that I share with you some news about our White House family,” Rouse emailed staffers,” Dan Turton’s wife, Ashley, died this morning at their home in Washington.  Many of you have worked with both of them during their careers on Capitol Hill, and they exemplify the definition of public servants.  We are making every resource available to Dan and his family in his moment of need, and we will update you soon about where you can send condolences to the Turton family.”

Ashley Turton, mother of three, was found dead this morning in her burned-out car in the garage of her home in Southeast Washington, DC.

The Metro police and fire department received a call at 4:49 a.m. from a neighbor about a fire in a garage at the intersection of Eighth Street and A Street in Southeast Washington, near Capitol Hill. The D.C. Fire Department arrived at Turton's row house within minutes. ‘

The cause of Turton’s death is still uncertain, but DC Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer says the fire and death appear to be an accident, caused by the car crashing into the garage.

Turton, 37, worked as a lobbyist for Progress Energy and her husband, Dan Turton, is currently Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs in the Obama administration.

Ashley Turton’s former employer, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) said this is a terrible week for “our Congressional family,” and is “shocked” by her tragic death.

“She was special as a pioneering chief-of-staff who knew how to make the House of Representatives work for people. She was a leader and comrade in arms to so many staff. She was a member of our family, and we mourn her. “

Similar sentiments were sent out this afternoon by many members of Congress.

“Ashley and her husband Dan are part of the Capitol Hill family,” Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a paper statement released today, “Ashley’s loss is tragic and is grieved by all of us.”

 -Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller

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