Third North Carolina Woman Dies in Michigan Hit and Run | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

A third victim dies as of the result of the hit and run that occurred in Newton Township, Michigan (MI). The third victim, Jonel Hoogterp had relocated to Durham, North Carolina (NC) with her partner Julie Hatch also from Durham, North Carolina (NC). The two had been visiting Michigan (MI) for a family reunion when the accident occurred.

Jonel Hoogterp and Julie Hatch were walking on South Gould City Road in Newton Township, Michigan (MI) with several others when an SUV went across the oncoming lane and struck the pedestrians while they were walking. The driver of the SUV stopped initially, but then fled the scene.

According to Michigan (MI) police the driver of the SUV, suspected to be Dustan Lyle Bowen has been arrested. Sadly, every pedestrian involved in the hit and run accident was injured. Including, Julie Hatch, Sara Dobbrastine, and now Jonel Hoogterp who all died as a result of injuries sustained during the hit and run.

Michigan (MI) police reported that Dustan Lyle Bowen had been arrested on suspicion for driving the SUV that caused the hit and run accident. Several pedestrians involved have been released from local hospitals with minor injuries, but the loss felt in both Michigan (MI) and North Carolina (NC) is great. A fundraising event has been set up in Hoogterp and Hatch’s honor as well as a Facebook website dedicated to their memories.

Hit and run accidents can be devastating. In an instant your life as well as the lives of your family can change. As the lives of everyone who knew Jonel Hoogterp, Julie Hatch and Sara Dobbrastine have changed.

Unfortunately, not all hit and run accidents can be avoided, but if you are on the roadway, especially as a pedestrian, take precaution. While walking on or near roadways stay as far as possible from vehicles, and keep your eyes and ears open. Staying alert at all times might give you the few seconds you need to avoid a vehicle that has lost control.