A North Shore native who was driving the wrong way between Duluth and Two Harbors and crashed into another car, killing himself and the other motorist, was extremely drunk at the time, authorities said.
Philip Bergerson, 63, a retiree from Two Harbors who moved to Florida, had a blood alcohol content level of 0.41 percent on July 11, when he crossed into the southbound lanes of Hwy. 61 and hit the car driven by Cole R. Drechsler, 20, of Cloquet, Minn., the State Patrol said late last week.
Bergeron's degree of drunkenness was more than five times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.
At Bergerson's weight of approximately 190 pounds, he would have had to drink nearly 20 shots of 86 proof whiskey in two hours to reach that level of intoxication, according to a blood alcohol calculation website operated by the University of Notre Dame's Center for Student Health.
Hwy. 61 is four lanes where the collision occurred, about 20 miles northeast of Duluth, and is divided by a median.
"At some point, Bergerson crossed into the wrong lane," Patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielson said Friday, "but [it's] unknown if he was driving for some time the wrong way or if he just crossed over prior to the crash."
A passenger in Drechsler's car, Sarah J. Buscher, 19, of Cloquet, survived her injuries.
Drechsler graduated from Cloquet High School in 2013, was attending the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth at the time of the crash and studying to be a physician attendant.
Bergerson worked at Allete/Minnesota Power for 36 years and retired in 2008. At the time of the crash, he was living in Bonita Springs, Fla. He also had a cabin about 50 miles northwest of the location of the crash.