Ashanti takes body back home

2006-04-17 18:25

Johannesburg - International R'nB singer Ashanti escorted the body of her cousin, killed in a car crash caused by a drunk 17-year old, back to the United States on Monday.

The hit vocalist cancelled a performance in Johannesburg on Saturday after her cousin Quinshae Snead, 20, died in a car accident.

The accident was caused by a teenager, who had stolen his mother's car and was driving drunk without a licence.

Johannesburg metro police spokesperson, chief superintendent Wayne Minaar, said the 17-year-old had been arrested and charged with drunken driving. He will appear in court soon.

Minaar said a charge of culpable homicide was being investigated.

Snead was flung from a car and run over after the teenager hit the vehicle from behind, said Minaar.

A report in The Star newspaper quoted concert promoter Morris Roda, who said the 25-year-old Ashanti would escort the body of her cousin, with whom she was reportedly very close, back to the US on Monday evening.

The singer was in South Africa with her parents, sister and brother.

Roda told The Star: "It has been very traumatic. They are not coping at all."

Snead had been backstage with Ashanti ahead of the concert, where the singer was due to perform with international songstress Lauryn Hill and local female artists.

The Star said Snead had offered to return to the family's hotel to collect some items Ashanti had forgotten and wanted for the concert.