Four Winds New Buffalo Casino Bus Driver Dies in Traffic Accident
A bus driver for the Four Winds Casino died in a crash near New Buffalo, Michigan. No casino visitors were in the bus at the time of the crash. The crash happened at around 9:45 am on Thursday.
The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office identified the driver as 65-year old Edmund Hillman. Authorities said that Hillman died on the roadway near the entrance to the Four Winds New Buffalo Casino.
Crash Caused by Health Problems
The deputies on the scene believe Mr. Hillman’s crash may have been caused by a health problem, according to preliminary investigation. The sheriff’s department said there were no skid marks where the crash happened on the roadway, indicating that the driver may have been unresponsive prior to the accident. The authorities said weather was not a factor.
Berrien County Undersheriff Chuck Heit said that it is rare to see a driving difficulties in the stretch of road the Four Winds Casino bus had its crash. While the road itself is winding and has no guard rail, the crash occurred on a relatively straight patch of road in a place where a casino bus driver normally would be slowing down.
Veered off the Road and Struck a Tree
According to Undersheriff Heit, the bus was eastbound going in the direction of the casino when it veered left into a ditch and crashed into a tree. No one witnessed the crash. The bus was discovered by a passerby, who called 9-1-1.
Firefighters and emergency responders from the New Buffalo Township blocked the road from both directions to keep bystanders from disturbing evidence, as authorities gathered evidence at the crash site. Deputies reported that the bus appeared to have no mechanical failures.
Four Winds Bus Services
The Four Winds Bus is a casino escort, meaning it seldom picks up a great deal of speed. It is a smaller bus, able to carry 15 to 20 people at most. The bus is a complimentary shuttle for visitors to the casino.
Four Winds New Buffalo Casino
The Four Winds New Buffalo casino, hotel, and entertainment venue opened in August 2007. It is owned by the Potawotomi tribe, and the casino’s rotunda is build in the style of one of the Potawatomi people’s traditional lodges.
The casino area at the Four Winds Casino is 130,000 square feet. According to the Chicago Tribune, if the Four Winds New Buffalo casino was located on the Las Vegas Strip, it would be the second-largest casino in terms of gaming space. The gaming space contains 3,000 slot machines, 60+ table games, and a poker room. The gaming tables inlcude blackjack, roulette, and craps.
The non-gaming amenities includes a 415-room hotel and the Silver Creek Event center, which hosts musical and comedy acts. Other attractins include shopping, the Hard Rock Cafe, Copper Steakhouse, and Kids Quest — a supervised activity center for children 6 weeks old to 12 years old. Nearby is Cyber Quest, a supervised arcade featuring non-violent games.
New Buffalo Township
The casino is located on I-94 in the New Buffalo Township in Berrien Bounty, Michigan. According to the 2010 US census, New Buffalo Township has a population of 2,386. The nearby city of New Buffalo, located on the banks of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Galien River, has a population of 1,883.
Though New Buffalo Township is in southwest Michigan, the closest city is South Bend, Indiana, home to Notre Dame University. The ride from South Bend to New Buffalo is 45 minutes. The nearest cities in Michigan are Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, and Lansing. A car ride from Detroit to New Buffalo is 214 miles or 3-hours, 15-minutes. A car ride from Chicago to New Buffalo is 70 miles or 1-hour, 10-minutes.
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