Family rallies around children left without parents

  • Play
  • Play

Video by

Family rallies around children left without parents

By Katie Crowther. CREATED Apr 25, 2014 - UPDATED: Apr 28, 2014

UPDATE: Bram Dorresteijn succumbed to his injuries Sunday night.  

According to the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department, he passed away at Froedtert Medical Center at 6:10 p.m.


KENOSHA -- Two babies are left to grow up without their mother, after a horrible crash in Kenosha County.

Shari and Bram Dorresteijn had just left for a work trip, when they crashed on I-94 late Thursday night.

Shari was killed instantly. But there's hope that her husband, Bram, will pull through. He's in critical condition at Froedtert Hospital with severe head trauma.

"We're just hopeful he can come out of this, and be the dad that Wesley and Charlotte really need right now," says Shari's older sister, Sara Grunzel.

Wesley is just two-years-old, while Charlotte is two-months-old. They are both too young to understand that their mother is gone, and their father is fighting for life.

"It's hard to see him that way in the hospital," Sara says.

Bram doesn't know that Shari died in the crash, while he was behind the wheel. She was just 33-years-old. The two met during college at University of Wisconsin - Madison. He played on the soccer team, she was an athletic trainer. They lived in Sun Prairie.

"They were the perfect couple," Sara says. "So many people's lives have changed in a split second. It's hard to fathom. It still doesn't feel real."

Investigators believe Bram didn't realize that traffic ahead was slowing and merging in a construction zone, when he crashed into the back of a semi-truck.

Sara got the heart-breaking call from police. "I would not wish that experience on my worst enemy," she says.

Now, Shari's family in Brookfield, is doing every thing they can to protect little Wesley and Charlotte.

"Shari would light up anytime anyone would talk about them," Sara says. "Those were her babies. Her pride and joy. The minute you saw her with them, you instantly knew what a strong connection it was."

Their mission is to make sure those children grow up knowing exactly who their mother was - an amazing woman whose physical beauty was only surpassed by her beautiful heart.

They also hope their tragedy makes everyone be more aware and alert when driving. Lives can change in an instant.

Shari attended Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee. The school is organizing a memorial service for her. 

Katie Crowther

Katie Crowther

Katie Crowther was born and raised the suburbs of Detroit. She attended John Carroll University, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.