GoFundMe created for Durham woman killed while traveling home for Thanksgiving


Nearly a week after a young Durham woman was killed in a head-on collision in Alamance County, supporters have donated thousands of dollars to help her family.

Keir Vanessa Witherspoon, 24, was hit by a driver who may have been under the influence while she was traveling home for Thanksgiving on Nov. 20.

More than $20,000 was raised for Witherspoon’s family in 24 hours, surpassing the goal of $15,000. The GoFundMe was organized by Taryn Moyer on behalf of the family.

“Keir, a beautiful and bold fashionista and a vibrant lover of nature, life, and people, had so much left she wanted to give the world,” the fundraiser page states. “With service expenses, the holidays, and Keir’s living situation being out of state, we are hoping to provide financial support for the family so their energy can be put towards their healing.”

Witherspoon was a Durham native, a 2020 graduate of N.C. State University and an alumna of the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics in Durham.

“We want to give to the Witherspoon family all that we can at this time of unexpected loss and we are asking for help,” the page states.

The accident happened on Interstate 40 near Trollingwood Road in Mebane, according to the State Highway Patrol.

The driver, Rubicel Diaz Hernandez, 40, was driving his Jeep SUV the wrong way in the eastbound lanes when he struck Witherspoon’s Honda Civic, according to a news release.

Witherspoon died on the scene, the release stated.

Hernandez was taken to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill with serious but non-life threatening injuries and could be charged with second-degree murder for the crash when released from the hospital, the State Highway Patrol said.

At the time of the accident, Hernandez also had a pending DWI charge.

A public viewing for Witherspoon has been scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the American Cremation and Funeral Service in Durham, according to her online obituary.

Her funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at Orange Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Durham. She will be buried Woodlawn Memorial Park.

Donations are being accepted at www.gofundme.com/f/supporting-the-family-of-keir-witherspoon.