Fundraiser planned for crash victim

Published 9:25 am Friday, June 24, 2011

YALE—Crash victim Dustin Bishop awoke from a two-month coma only to learn that his girlfriend of five years was dead.

“He’s just coming to grips with that,” said Cindi Dickerson, the aunt of 23-year-old Holly Heinrich, who died in the same 1:45 a.m. March 6 crash outside Holland.

“He’s having a hard time with it,” Dickerson said.

Released from the hospital on Thursday, Bishop is not ready to return to his job at PAJ Septic. To help him with expenses, friends and family will host the Holly Heinrich Memorial Corn Hole Tournament 10 a.m. Saturday, July 16, at Joyner Gray Yale Ruritan Club. Registration begins at 9.

The cost is $40 per team with the top three teams in intermediate and beginner classes receiving trophies.

Initially flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and then transferred to MCV in Richmond, Bishop remained in a coma until about a month ago with brain trauma, Dickerson said.

The 23-year-old from Stony Creek in Sussex County and Heinrich were thrown from a pickup, which rolled 2½ times on Glen Haven Road.

Bishop is going to rehabilitation five days a week at Sheltering Arms in Richmond.

His long-term prognosis is unknown.

“With any brain trauma, the doctors will say it’s one day at a time,” Dickerson said.

She’s highly encouraged by Bishop’s recent progress.

“Because of his determination, because of great strides he’s made in 30 days,” Dickerson said.

Bishop has health insurance, but not all expenses are covered, she said. The son of Bryon Bishop and Lisa Brown, he always has two caregivers with him.

During the fundraiser, participants will be asked to honor Heinrich’s memory.

Heinrich was set to graduate from John Tyler Community College this year and planned to attend the University of Richmond in the fall. In addition to being a full-time student, she was deputy treasurer in Sussex County.

The crash remains under investigation.

Suffolk police did not return a phone call, but Dickerson said she understands police have turned over evidence from their investigation to Commonwealth’s Attorney Phil Ferguson.

Police believe William Davis, 26, of Carrsville was the driver, which he admitted to and then denied. Police obtained a search warrant in hopes of finding evidence that will tell them who was driving.

Investigators said they found a beer bottle and hard liquor bottle in the truck while executing the search warrant. They took swabs from the steering wheel, the seat headrests and the car’s electronic data recorder.

For questions about the fundraiser, Dickerson can be reached at 804-691-8250.