Driver in fatal crash with jogger may have medical condition

- Friends say the man behind the wheel in an accident that killed an avid runner and cyclist in St. Paul lost his wife to cancer a year and a half ago.

Now, he could be battling the same disease.

When Peter Berge's SUV hit Scott Spoo as he jogged across Mississippi River Boulevard last Thursday, investigators were quick to say Berge may have been impaired.

"Drugs or alcohol were involved and possibly a distraction," St. Paul Police spokesperson Steve Linders said at the time.

A drug recognition officer who responded to the scene said Berge failed or couldn't complete several field sobriety tests and had tremors on his eyelids, body and leg.

But Berge blew a .000 on a portable breathalyzer, leading the officer to suspect the attorney may have been on drugs.

However, Berge's friend Mike Salovich says those suspicions are not consistent with Berge's character.

"If I was in the same situation and I was in an accident and a pedestrian got hurt or killed, I wouldn't be able to walk a straight line. And as a good friend of Peter, I know he was shook up, totally shook up," Salovich said.

Salovich says after Berge was released from jail on Friday, friends noticed something was off with him, when he couldn't play his beloved guitar because the motor skills on his left side weren't there.

Salovich says an MRI at Abbott Northwestern found four lesions on Berge's brain and doctors took a biopsy of one of them to find out what is going on.

But so far, they haven't found any other cancer in Berge's body, and it will take several days for the results to come back.

"Its a very grave situation for Peter," Salovich said. "He's an awesome person and we all feel terrible about everything that happened. And we just hope something meaningful can happen from this."

Prosecutors say they won't make a decision on whether to charge Berge until toxicology results come back, but that could take months.

 


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