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Family: Sun Prairie couple killed in crash lived passionately

Published On: Apr 25 2014 02:57:48 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 28 2014 10:44:38 PM CDT

A Sun Prairie man has died from injuries sustained in a crash in Kenosha County on Thursday, according to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department. His wife was killed instantly.


A Sun Prairie man has died from injuries sustained in a crash in Kenosha County on Thursday, according to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department. His wife was killed instantly. 

Bram Dorresteijn, 34, was taken off life support Sunday night, according to a relative.

Deputies were called to the southbound lanes of Interstate 94 north of County Road N at 10:47 p.m. for a report of a crash.

Investigators said a minivan driven by Bram Dorresteijn rear-ended a stopped semitrailer. The crash occurred in a construction zone and traffic was stopped because of merging lanes.

Shari Dorresteijn, 33, was killed in the crash.

The couple has a 2-year-old son and 2-month-old daughter. They were not in the minivan, and will now live with Shari's sister in the Milwaukee area.

Bram’s younger brother and sister, Paul Dorresteijn and Tessa Dorresteijn, said the focus now is on making sure their niece and nephew are taken care of and know how much their parents love them.

“That's something that we hope that we can continue to remind Wesley and Charlotte of as they continue to grow up. That they will never forget how much, how much they were loved by Bram and Shari,” Tessa Dorresteijn said.

Paul and Tessa said Shari’s sister and her family will raise the children.

“Wesley is just an amazing, happy, full of energy 2-year-old, and that's just how Bram was, happy and full of energy,” Paul Dorresteijn said. “And I definitely see that part of him in Bram.”

The Dorresteijn’s said the couple met at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They said Bram was a passionate athlete and played soccer for the university. Shari, they said, studied to be an athletic trainer.

“I think in Shari he kind of found someone who kind of had the same energy and could keep up with him,” Paul Dorresteijn said. “They accomplished so much in the short life they lived. It's quite amazing and sad to have them leave us as early as they did.”

Paul and Tessa said their brother and sister-in-law lived life passionately, and they hope if people want to help, they will support the children they left behind.

“He's with Shari now, which is maybe the only comforting feeling that came out of that,” Paul Dorresteijn said.

The driver of the semitrailer, Maurice McDowell, 40, of Milwaukee, suffered minor neck and shoulder injuries.

Family members said both Bram and Shari were organ donors. Bram saved three lives by donating his lungs and two kidneys. Shari's skin, heart valves and corneas were donated.

A memorial fund for the Dorresteijn's children has been established at the First Business Bank. Contributions to the fund can be sent in electronically or mail to:

The Children of Shari & Bram Fund
First Business Bank
P.O. Box 44961
Madison, WI  53744-4961

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