Lawyer, 26, is rescued after boat sinks but dies of hypothermia

A young Illinois lawyer known for her engaging personality and the help she gave others died over the weekend after a boating accident.

Ashley Haws, 26, worked at the Davi Law Group, which called her “a beautiful and brilliant rising star in the legal community, the Chicago Tribune reports. She was a 2012 law graduate of Valparaiso University Law School and clerked for Judge Kathleen Lang in Lake County before entering practice.

Only one of the four people aboard a 33-foot motorboat that sank in Lake Michigan about 6 miles offshore from Chicago’s shoreline is believed to have survived. Four people, including Haws, jumped overboard after a fire broke out around 7 p.m. on Saturday, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported.

No distress signal apparently was sent, and it was only by happenstance that the survivor, an unidentified 29-year-old man, was spotted in the water by a fishing boat nearly 12 hours later. Haws was found after that, unconscious, and transported to a hospital where she was declared dead. An autopsy determined that she died of hypothermia. Both she and the male survivor were wearing life jackets.

“This is just a terrible tragedy,” said Mike Jameson, a cross country coach for Haws at Bay Port High School in Wisconsin. “She was just a great person and wonderful to be around. Her teammates loved her.”

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