Medical event causes car to crash into Dowagiac Burger King

Published 6:14 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac Burger King reopened following a brief closure Friday due to a car crashing into its drive-thru.

At approximately 3:10 p.m. Friday, Dowagiac police and fire departments were dispatched to the Burger King restaurant at 903 Spruce St. in Dowagiac. Units were advised that a vehicle had struck the building there.

Upon arrival, officers located a vehicle that was running and spinning its tires sitting against the building near the drive-thru window. The vehicle was secured, and officers and firefighters located a male driver unresponsive in the vehicle. The driver was removed and found to be not breathing.

Emergency care was provided by officers and firefighters and later by EMTs from Pride Care Ambulance.  Public safety was able to restore a pulse and breathing.

The driver, a 78-year-old man from Florida, was transported to Ascension/Borgess Lee Memorial Hospital. He was later flown to Ascension/Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo via West Michigan Aircare and at last report was in critical condition.

The investigation determined that the driver had placed an order at the drive-thru speaker and then suffered a medical emergency, which caused him to strike the building.

The driver was not injured as a result of the crash into the building.  The building sustained minor damage and was able to re-open.

The name of the driver is being withheld pending contact with his family.

Dowagiac Police and Fire were assisted by Wayne Township Fire Department, Pokagon Tribal Police Department, Pride Care Ambulance and Barry’s Towing.