Local News

Fund established for injured Durham woman

Posted July 30, 2009 10:19 p.m. EDT
Updated July 31, 2009 6:24 a.m. EDT

— 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."

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.