KENOSHA (WITI) — A Sun Prairie man has died from injuries he sustained during a traffic accident that occurred Thursday night, April 24th on I-94 just north of 38th St. in Kenosha County — and now, two young children will grow up without their parents.
According to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office, authorities were called to the scene around 10:45 p.m. after a minivan struck a semi stopped in traffic on I-94.
“He’s gasping for air, help him please!” said Maurice McDowell, driver of the semi-truck, in his 911 call for help.
34-year-old Bram Dorresteijn was driving the minivan and sustained severe head injuries. Flight for Life landed on the closed highway and transported him to Froedtert Medical Center. He died on Sunday night, April 27th at the hospital.
Dorresteijn’s wife, 33-year-old Shari Dorresteijn, was the passenger of the minivan and died on scene. Officials say she was not wearing her seatbelt.
The Sun Prairie couple leaves behind a two-year-old son and two-month-old daughter. A fund has been established in the names of the children at First Business Bank. CLICK HERE to learn more about this fund — and how you can donate.
FOX6 News has learned Shari Dorresteijn was a 1999 graduate of Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee — where at least one staff member remembers Shari as “one of her favorites.”
“You just don’t expect somebody that young to die so tragically. Everybody’s just devastated. For somebody so full of life and so young and with young children to have such a tragic ending for her and her husband, is really beyond comprehension,” Divine Savior Holy Angels Athletic Director Peggy Braun said.
Braun has a picture of Shari Dorresteijn framed in her office.
Braun says Shari Dorresteijn was a high school basketball player who met her husband at the University of Wisconsin-Madison — where he played soccer.
“It’s shocking. I mean, it’s unbelievable,” Braun said.
According to officials, 40-year-old McDowell from Milwaukee, the semi truck driver, sustained minor neck and shoulder injuries. Following the crash, he submitted to a voluntary blood test.
“He didn’t see where the traffic was stopping and he ran underneath my trailer,” said McDowell in his 911 call.
“Still got lots of questions — kinda wonder why, why them, you know?” Bram Dorresteijn’s brother, Paul Dorresteijn said.
Bram Dorresteijn’s family is in the Madison area. They say the couple’s young children will be adopted by Shari Dorresteijn’s sister, who lives near Milwaukee.
“They will never forget how much they were loved by Bram and Shari,” Tessa Dorresteijn said.
Authorities say there is no evidence to suggest Bram Dorresteijn was impaired, however, the cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Following the crash, traffic was diverted for five and a half hours. Both lanes of I-94 were shut down as emergency personnel responded to the wreck.
I-94 in Kenosha County is expanding from three lanes in both directions to four, and has been under construction for years.