Police and Fire Reports By Annette Christie
Coloma woman arrested for deadly crash
A 32-year-old Coloma woman is in jail following a crash that resulted in the death of a Canadian woman. Benton Township Police and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office responded to a dispatched call regarding an unknown injury accident on eastbound I-94 near the 33-mile marker on Sunday, September 9 at approximately 3:16 a.m. Upon arrival, officers/deputies located an unconscious and unresponsive female, later identified as Erum Nazir of Ontario, Canada. First responders performed CPR and other life saving measures until Medic 1 Ambulance Service arrived on scene. Nazir was transported to Lakeland Hospital where she was pronounced deceased. Her injuries were unknown but suspected as internal injuries from the rollover/ejection crash. An autopsy is scheduled. Officers/Deputies made contact with Amber Garton, 32, the driver of a Ford Mustang which struck a Toyota Minivan in the rear, which Nazir was a passenger in the rear passenger seat along with three other uninjured occupants. Officers detected intoxicants coming from Garton’s person and conducted field sobriety tests which indicated that Garton had the presence of alcohol in her system. She was transported to Lakeland Hospital. Upon being released from Lakeland, her blood alcohol level was determined to be .21% blood alcohol content. Witness statements indicated Garton was traveling at speeds in excess of the posted 70 mph speed limit. Alcohol and speed are believed to be contributing factors of the traffic crash and death of Nazir. Garton was lodged at the Berrien County Sheriff Department Jail on the charge of operating while intoxicated causing death. The Benton Township Police Department was assisted by the Berrien County Sheriff Department Road Patrol and accident reconstruction unit, Medic 1, and the Benton Township Fire Department.
Horse killed in vehicle vs. buggy crash
Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel E. Abbott reports that deputies responded to the area of 46th Street and County Road 388 for a van versus horse drawn buggy personal injury accident on September 11, 2018 at approximately 10:42 a.m. Deputies arrived on scene and found that a van was traveling south on 46th Street south of County Road 388, crossed the center line and collided head on with a north bound horse drawn buggy, killing the horse on impact and ejecting the driver of the buggy. The driver was a 67-year-old male from the Bloomingdale area. The driver of the horse drawn buggy sustained serious injuries and was transported to Bronson Methodist Hospital by Life EMS. The driver of the van, a 59-year-old Grand Junction man, was not injured. Alcohol and or narcotics are not believed to be involved. The incident remains open pending further investigation.
Vehicle donated to Van Buren ISD
The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office has donated a 2012 Chevrolet Impala to the Van Buren ISD criminal justice class. Sheriff Daniel Abbott sits on their advisory board and saw the need for a patrol unit for the students. The Sheriff’s Office had one that was available as it was taken out of service. With this unit, the students will be able to learn traffic stops, vehicle positioning at scenes, patrol tactics, etc. “It’s nice to be able to donate this unit knowing it’ll be put to good use for future police officers,” Abbott said adding, “This is just another example of how our office works close with the school districts in our county.”
Sheriff Bailey joined fellow Sheriffs in Washington D.C. to call for action on immigration reforms
Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey was in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Sept. 5 to meet with White House officials on illegal immigration matters, and to urge Congress to act on pending legislation to increase border security. Sheriff Bailey joined almost 50 other Sheriffs from across the country as a united group of elected law enforcement officers at a media event on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning. Joined by some members of Congress, this group or Sheriffs shared their experiences and public safety challenges associated with illegal aliens, and called on Congress to act on pending legislation to increase border security and reform the immigration system. On Wednesday afternoon, the Sheriffs participated in a roundtable discussion at the White House with administration officials and policymakers. Hosted by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, the round table focused on immigration, border security and efforts by some elected officials to prevent the critical collaboration of local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. These partnerships maximize law enforcement’s potential to identify criminals in communities and remove them from neighborhoods. “The purpose of this visit is to express the urgency of Congress passing legislation immediately on the security aspects of immigration reform,” Sheriff Bailey commented prior to the visit. “It is our intention to tell Congress that their failure to deal with this issue for 20 years has made our communities less safe and has undermined our promise to the people who elected us to keep them safe. “During our visit to the White House, we will discuss the challenges we face as a result of the ongoing Congressional stalemate, strategies to more easily identify criminal illegal aliens, and explore ways to expand and protect our valuable and critically important relationships with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners,”