Progress Energy lobbyist, wife of White House adviser dies

Posted January 10, 2011 12:54 p.m. EST
Updated January 11, 2011 3:03 p.m. EST

— A Washington lobbyist who was the wife of a White House adviser has been found dead inside a burning car in southeast Washington.

Progress Energy Inc. said in a statement Monday that Ashley Turton had died. Property records show she and her husband, Dan Turton, lived at a southeast Washington home where D.C. firefighters found a body in a burning car.

D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer says firefighters were called to a rowhouse and found a car engulfed in flames.

Turton joined Progress Energy in 2007 after serving as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro.

“Ashley was a valued employee whose insight and hard work had been critical on so many of our legislative and regulatory issues. She was also a dear friend to many of us and this news is very hard to take. I know we all will keep her husband, children and parents in our thoughts and prayers," Bill Johnson, president and chief executive of the Raleigh-based utility, said in a statement.

Progress Energy spokesman Mike Hughes said Turton was the mother of three young children.

Early Monday, Progress Energy announced that it would merge with Duke Energy in a $26 billion deal.

"Today is an eventful day for us as employees of Progress Energy. Ashley’s tragic death reminds us all to keep perspective in all things,” Johnson said.