Local News

Driver gets prison for hit-and-run that killed Durham women

Posted March 19, 2010 10:10 p.m. EDT
Updated March 20, 2010 8:22 a.m. EDT

— A Michigan man was sentenced to prison Friday after pleading no contest to charges that he drove into a group of pedestrians last July, killing two Durham women and a Michigan woman.

Mackinac County prosecutors said that Dustan L. Bowen, 28, of Sanford, Mich., admitted responsibility for the July 25, 2009, crash near Gould City that killed Jonel Hoogterp, 26, and Julie Hatch, 31, both of Durham, N.C., and Sara Dobbrastine, 24, of of Kent City, Mich. The three women were attending a family reunion.

Bowen was sentenced to between 15 and 22½ years in prison after pleading no contest Feb. 5 to three counts of negligent homicide. A no-contest plea is not a guilty plea but is treated the same when determining a sentence.

A police physician testified a combination of five prescription drugs detected in a sample of Bowen's blood taken after the crash could have delayed his reaction time. Bowen's attorneys argued there was no way of telling when he took the medication.

Friends said that Hatch and Hoogterp were deeply committed partners and Dobbrastine was engaged to one of Hoogterp's relatives.

Hoogterp worked at Sunset Grille in Durham and was a volunteer EMT with the Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department.