Chicago Ad World Mourns Loss of Three Friends Killed In Accident

Chicago Ad World Mourns Loss of Three Friends Killed In Accident

The creative community in Chicago is mourning the loss of three agency professionals who were killed in an early morning auto accident Sunday in Milwaukee, WI.

Ashley Sawatzke, 30, Amy Taylor, 32, and Lindsey Cohen, 35, were killed at 2:45 a.m., minutes from their hotel, when their Uber ride was struck by a Lexus SUV that ran a red light. The three had worked together in account management at Energy BBDO. Sawatzke left BBDO over the summer for an account supervisor position at Leo Burnett, where she worked on P&G's Always.

"We are absolutely devastated by the loss of these three incredible, exuberant young women who were taken from us far too soon," the agency's president Tonise Paul said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones at this tragic moment. The grief of their absence is felt deeply across our Energy BBDO family."

Burnett also issued a statement of condolence.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic news of Ashley Sawatzke's passing," read their statement. "She was a valued and loved member of the Leo Burnett family. Our thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family at this time."

According to police reports, the accident occurred a little more than half a mile from their hotel when a 2015 Lexus R350 hit into the driver's side of the 2013 Ford Fusion at the intersection of Clybourn Avenue and Second Street, Milwaukee. The three women were sitting in the back seat. Sawatzke and Taylor died at the scene. Cohen later passed away at an area hospital.

Their driver, 41-year-old Tim Snyder, was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not described as life-threatening, though he is the sole provider for his family, according to a GoFundMe page set up by another Uber driver in Wisconsin.

According to the Chicago Tribune, two men exited the Lexus and fled the scene and the driver, a 23-year-old man, later surrendered to authorities. Police believe speeding was a factor in the accident.