Ashanti Mourns the Death of a Cousin

R&B singer "Ashanti" Douglas’ cousin was killed on a South African road the night before Easter, according to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Just hours before the singer was set to perform at the Redd’s Divas Concert at the Coca-Cola Dome, her 20-year-old cousin, Quinshae Snead, was killed by a drunk driver in Randburg. Officials reported that Snead’s body was flung from her BMW into a lane of oncoming traffic after being rear-ended by a speeding Toyota Corolla.

Johannesburg metro police spokesperson, Wayne Minnaar, said that the driver behind the wheel of the Corolla was an unlicensed 17-year-old, who had stolen the car from his mother. "He was also under the influence of liquor and measured 0.23 on the alcometer test," Minaar said. The youth was arrested for drunken driving.

"The Douglas family has asked the South African public to please keep Ashanti, her family and all those involved in this horrible car accident in their prayers," said concert promoters in a released statement.

Ashanti was set to appear on stage with singers Lauryn Hill, Regina Belle, Sibongile Khumalo, Simphiwe, Lebo Mathosa, Bongo Maffin and Tyte Dana, the SABC report said. According to South Africa’s transport department, Snead’s death was just one in 54 traffic accidents occurring between Thursday and Saturday of the Easter weekend.