Woman involved in 2010 accident with Columbia mayor dies of cancer

Damage to Steve Benjamin's car sustained in the April 2010 crash.

COLUMBIA (WACH)- The woman who was injured in a car crash with then Columbia mayor-elect Steve Benjamin in April 2010 has died.

Deborah Rubens died of cancer this week according to the woman's former employer Bill Ellen, the manager of the Clarion Townhouse, where Rubens worked for many years.

"We'll remember her smiling face," said Ellen. "Her attention to her customers. She became personal friends with a lot of her customers. We remember Deborah as being a very dedicated employee who made people smile."

In the early morning hours of April 21, 2010, Rubens was driving into work when, according to a Columbia Police Department investigation, a car driven by Benjamin ran into her car. Rubens suffered severe injuries in the crash and was hospitalized for weeks.

Benjamin was given an $87 ticket following the incident.

Benjamin was driving to a television interview at 5:45 am the day of the crash. He had been elected to the mayor's office just hours earlier.

â??Deborah Rubens was a good lady and a great friend," said Mayor Benjamin in a statement released Thursday. â??I had the wonderful pleasure of spending her last birthday with Deborah, her family and friends and to witness firsthand the unconditional love, strength of faith and the importance of community in her life. When her family called last week to inform me that sheâ??d taken a turn for the worse, our family went into immediate prayer and we remain there.â??

Benjamin eventually reached a settlement with Rubens after the car crash. The terms of the settlement were never made public.