No Charges for Twin Cities Attorney Who Struck, Killed Runner in St. Paul

February 14, 2018 06:42 PM

KSTP spoke with friends of Scott Allen Spoo after the crash in the video above.

The Hennepin County Attorney says no charges will be filed against the lawyer who was behind the wheel of a vehicle that struck and killed a 35-year-old man out for a run in St. Paul last February.


A release from County Attorney Mike Freeman's office says Twin Cities attorney Peter Berge was not on his cell phone and had no chemicals or alcohol in his system when his vehicle struck and killed Scott Allen Spoo, who was running through the crosswalk at Mississippi River Boulevard and Dayton Avenue, on Feb. 22. 

RELATED: SPPD: Berge Had No Illegal Substances in System at Time of Fatal Crash

He failed field sobriety tests immediately after the crash. But two days after the crash, Berge went to the hospital, where an MRI showed a large tumor on his brain, according to the release.

Spoo's death was investigated by St. Paul police, but handed to the Hennepin County Attorney for consideration of charges to avoid a conflict of interest, the release says.

Prosecutors declined to file charges in part based on witness statements and accident reconstruction.

The evidence showed Berge was driving just over 30 miles per hour in the 25 mph zone, and he drifted into the oncoming lane several times but corrected back to his lane, the release says.

A search of Berge's phone indicated he had not used it since 4:26 p.m. He stopped the car immediately after the crash, according to the release. 

RELATED: Man Killed While Out for a Run in St. Paul, Local Attorney Released from Custody

"This is a tragic and sad case," Freeman said via the release. "We extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Spoo's family. Had Mr. Berge been drinking or if he had fled the scene we could have charged him with criminal vehicular homicide. That was not the case. There was no evidence of gross negligence, either."

Reached for comment Wednesday, Berge referred a reporter to his attorney, Charles Hawkins, who said, referring in part to the discovery of Berge's tumor, "We're appreciative of the county attorney's candid and thorough evaluation of the evidence, and we're appreciative of the opportunity to share some of our information."  

Spoo was an avid outdoorsman, a jogger and a bicyclist who helped start a cycling club at 3M, where he worked as a product design engineer, friends said.

"He was just so warm and helpful, a wonderful guy who was very into an active lifestyle and helped others achieve that," Jerry Porter, a friend of Spoo's, said at the time.


Michael Oakes and Kirsten Swanson

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