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Fund established for injured Durham woman

Posted July 30, 2009
Updated July 31, 2009

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— Close friends of a Durham woman who was left in critical condition after a Michigan car wreck have set up a fund to pay her medical bills.

Jonel Hoogterp, 26, was in a medically-induced coma at Marquette General Hospital in Marquette, Mich. on Thursday.

Hoogterp was among three people injured Saturday when police say 28-year-old Dustan Lyle Bowen of Sanford, Mich. drove into a crowd of people walking along the side of a road in St. Ignace, Mich.

The crash killed Hoogterp’s partner, 31-year-old Julie Hatch of Durham, and 24-year-old Sara Dobbrastine of Kent City, Mich.

Friends said the two were hit while attending a gathering for Hoogterp’s family reunion. Friends said Dobbrastine was engaged to one of Hoogterp's relatives.

“They absolutely loved each other, but they loved everybody else,” said friend Anne Watson. “These two young ladies were full of life."

fund establishedd to help pay for medical costs Durham woman in critical condition after wreck

Friends said Hatch and Hoogterp were deeply committed to each other.

“They were partners, lifelong partners. They’ve been together three years,” friend Tane Addington said. “They brought a lot of love with their friendships with their friends."

Friends set up a fund for Hoogterp's medical bills because she does not have insurance. Donations may be sent to:

Anne Watson c/o The Jonel Fund
Suntrust Mortgage
3100 Tower Blvd., Suite 1600
Durham, N.C. 27707

Checks should be made out to "The Jonel Fund."

At Sunset Grille in Durham where Hoogterp worked, close friends of both women said they are leaning on each other for comfort and hope.

Megan Mosley shares bar-tending duties with Hoogterp. She said she misses her friend and confidant.

“Jonel and I have worked together every Sunday for three years,” Mosley said.

Hoogterp was also a volunteer EMT with the Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department for the past two years. EMT Division Chief Kathy Bobseine said the department is grieving for Hoogterp's injuries and hoping for the best.

Bowen faces charges, including second-degree murder and failing to stop at the scene of an accident. He was jailed on a $1 million bond.


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  • TallWillow Jul 31, 2009

    JAT "I truly doubt she was on skid row and living on the streets. If she was, she'd qualify for Welfare...."

    Actually, no, she would not. There is no "welfare" for childless people unless they are elderly or disabled. Your assumptions about this are as faulty as those about her being able to buy insurance at a price she could afford. For all you know, she could have one of the pre-existing conditions that made her uninsurable or the price of any coverage out of reach.

    I have to wonder if her partner had insurance and could have covered her if not for the anti-gay laws and sentiments we see altogether too much of.

    In addition, in case it's escaped your notice, not everyone is qualified for the types of jobs that provide insurance. And those jobs are getting scarcer by the day.

    My sincere sympathies to the families who've lost all three of these young women.

  • Professor Jul 31, 2009

    May the funds go where they are supposed to go. I wish the young lady well.

  • shortcake53 Jul 31, 2009

    This sweet girl that everyone thought so highly of will likely lose her life. I hardly think its appropriate for someone to use this event as a forum to pat themselves on the back for buying insurance. My deepest sympathy to her family.

  • JAT Jul 31, 2009

    I agree, fay, but saying that people who knew each other for only 3 years were soulmates is just a bit too much for me. Death always makes people better, stronger, nicer, etc. People only remember the nice things, which is OK, but often exaggerate a bit.

  • fayofbundy Jul 31, 2009

    "The only thing negative I'll say about their "situation" is that I found it amusing that a friend of their's said they were "lifelong soulmates" but only knew each other 3 years. You usually say "lifelong soulmates" when the people have been together for 60 years and still love each other madly."

    Perhaps they were just looking forward to a future together.

    Saying that these 2 were lifelong soulmates is, to my mind, no worse than making a promise to God to remain married forever ("in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, till death do us part") even though 50% of couples end up breaking that promise.

  • JAT Jul 31, 2009

    oh, fay, my comments have nothing to do with these 2 women being a couple. They were made about people in general.

    The only thing negative I'll say about their "situation" is that I found it amusing that a friend of their's said they were "lifelong soulmates" but only knew each other 3 years. You usually say "lifelong soulmates" when the people have been together for 60 years and still love each other madly.

    Don't go making assumptions that are as untrue as you can make them. This is about healthcare, choices we make as adults, the obligation to take care of your self and your needs, etc. I don't care who they sleep with.

  • JAT Jul 31, 2009

    fay - we might not be happier, but we'd be more insured and self-reliant.

    I'm really surprised that people don't see my point of view - that we have an obligation to take care of ourselves. We can choose to go to movies, have cable, have computers, have cocktails, eat out, etc. or we can choose to be responsible with our money and our choices and make sure we take care of the basics and don't become a burden to others. Is that really such a hard concept to grasp? I just try to protect me and my family and my property - some people don't - they'd rather chance it and spend the money on other things. I'm happy with my choices.

  • JAT Jul 31, 2009

    and, no, kds, my employer doesn't pay for my health care costs. They supplement it some, but I pay ALOT for my healthcare. ALOT! And I always will. I paid all my healthcare when I only made $18,000/year. I could have chosen to chance it but I tried to be responsible and didn't.

  • JAT Jul 31, 2009

    I am far from "set for life" and have never had "wonderful" jobs. I have jobs just like everyone else. And sure there have been times when I didn't have health insurance through my employer; for example, for the first 90 days on the job. And I have ALWAYS bought a plan and paid for it myself. How hard is that? I wanted to make sure that if something happened to me, I'd be OK. That's why I pay for life insurance. I hope to live to 97, but if I don't, all my bills will be paid for and my family will be secure. Again, it may be just me, but I feel I have an obligation to do that. I don't want to have to hope others look out for me.

    I don't know this girl, but I truly doubt she was on skid row and living on the streets. If she was, she'd qualify for Welfare, but if not, she made choices. Maybe we should all use this situation to show young people why you need health insurance. You can afford it! YOu can't afford NOT to have it.

  • fayofbundy Jul 31, 2009

    "Sometimes the nasty comments here truly do shock me."

    Considering the current heated debate on health care, and the fact that these women were a couple, I correctly predicted some ugly comments about this tragedy.

    Thanks for making an honest man out of me JAT.